Pokemon GO has garnered the most downloads ofof any iPhone app in the United States.The number of downloads in United States territory alone has reached approximately 7.5 million in less than a week. The app is a location based augmented reality mobile game developed by a San Franciscobased studio named Niantic Inc.As an augmented reality game, the app blends the real world and the virtual worldby using GPS tracking.As such, the game requires users to disclose information such as their current location. This has provoked concerns from Senator Al Franken.

What are Senator's Franken's concerns?

He believes that users are disclosing too much informationand that the app is an invasion of privacy. He claims, "Pokemon GO wants access to things like your precise location, your email address, your IP address, the last website you looked at, and initial reports say maybe even the contents of your email."

Senator Franken has written to the CEO of Niantic

In the letter, Senator Franken voiced concerns over the app's potential invasion of user's privacy.

In the letter, he made special mentionofthe app's access to information such as user's Google accounts, his concern for the app's younger players, and the fact that the information isconsidered a "business asset " that is disclosed to a third party. Senator Frankenalso requested that Niantic respond to a list of questions which included the purpose for the information that is disclosed, the possibility of users being able to opt out of disclosing such information, and a way to ensure that parents provide meaningful consent for their child's use of the app. Senator Franken requested that his queries be responded to by August12, 2016.

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What are the implications?

Senator Franken claims to have been a long advocate of protecting American's privacy in light of new technological achievements. If his concerns are valid, the download numbers of the app give serious implications as to the number of U.S. citizens who have disclosed important information. It's very likely thatfew will dispute that an app, no matter how fun, is not worth losing your privacy over.

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