Pokémon Go” and its developers at Niantic Labs has just concluded a legal proceeding with several plaintiffs concerning the various privacy and security issues that are brought up by the playing habits and behaviors of its regular users. Apple Insider reports that Niantic will now actively take steps to alter its gaming experience to avoid charges that they have been encouraging trespassing and invasions of privacy by their many players.

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A lawsuit filed at a San Francisco US District Court has a number of property owners across several States suing Niantic Labs for placing online game locations at their residences or private buildings. This resulted in instances where “Pokémon Go” players would barge into backyards or assemble at “quiet” places to collect Pokémon or items. The complainants argued that the developers arbitrarily selected their properties as in-game locations without permission, and want the company to scrub their addresses from the app.

Niantic agrees to better address complaints of private intrusions with 'Pokemon Go.' Image credit - GameSpot YouTube channel (screenshot)
Niantic agrees to better address complaints of private intrusions with 'Pokemon Go.' Image credit - GameSpot YouTube channel (screenshot)

Niantic agrees to new terms

In an agreement that was reached between Niantic Labs and the plaintiffs on Thursday, February 15, the developers of “Pokémon Go” will undertake steps that they deem “commercially reasonable” to answer to any future complaints about the mobile app spurring users to unwarrantedly intrude on property owners and private businesses.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the specific terms hashed out for Niantic entails that once they receive complaints in relation to “Pokémon Go,” they must satisfactorily resolve each issue within 15 days.

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Specifically, these measures include the potential removal of “Poke-Stops” or “Pokémon Gym” locations from landmarks and addresses that do not want them. Single-family residences have a right to refuse game locations placed within 40 meters of their homes. A complaints database will also be started to avoid repeats. For parks and venues with hours of operation, Niantic would honor authorities’ requests to deactivate game locations during closing time.

‘Pokémon Go’ game experience undisturbed

Niantic Labs’ courtroom drama behind the scenes has been masterfully kept low-key to maintain the appearance that their “Pokémon Go” mobile game app has simply been going about business as usual. Quite recently they announced their slate of in-game special events for February, such as Community Day, Field Research, Valentine’s and one focused on getting a “shiny” Meltan.

While the list of steps for Niantic in handling future complaints about “Pokémon Go” has been ironed out, they must still pay the plaintiffs a court-decided award of $1,000 each, along with a hefty lawyers’ fee and more for expenses.

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For fans of the “Pokémon” franchise who do not fancy Niantic’s “Go” game app, they can alternatively wait for the “Detective Pikachu” movie starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith, set to premiere on May 10.

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