U.S. senator probes Pokemon GO maker over data privacy concerns

By Dustin Volz WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Democratic U.S. senator on Tuesday asked the software developer behind Nintendo Co Ltd's Pokemon GO to clarify the mobile game's data privacy protections, amid concerns the augmented reality hit was unnecessarily collecting vast swaths of sensitive user data. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota sent a letter to Niantic Chief Executive John Hanke asking what user data Pokemon GO collects, how the data is used and with what third party service providers that data may be shared. The game, which marries Pokemon, the classic 20-year-old cartoon franchise, with augmented reality, allows players to walk around real-life neighborhoods while seeking virtual Pokemon game characters on their smartphone screens – a scavenger hunt that has earned enthusiastic early reviews.

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