[co-author: Leonel Gonzalez - Summer Associate]

Niantic Inc. (Niantic), developer of the mobile game “Pokémon GO,” was sued in Florida court on July 27, 2016. The named plaintiff, David Beckman filed the complaint against Niantic claiming the game’s terms of service and privacy policy offer no protection to users and allows Niantic to change the terms at will.

The complaint alleges the terms of service are an illusory contract that allows the developer broad rights to collect user data without offering any protection to users. In addition, the complaint also claims the terms are deceptive, unfair, and in violation of state contract laws and of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

This lawsuit comes after the report of a bug which allowed the game total access into some users’ Google accounts and an inquiry by Senator Al Franken into the app’s data collection. Recently, the Electronic Privacy Information Center urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Niantic and Pokémon GO after concerns that user data may be at risk from potential hackers.

Niantic has not responded to the complaint.

[View source.]

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