Music Ally has been following the work of mobile games company Niantic with interest since its launch of Pokémon Go in July 2016 – and even back then, there were privacy concerns around the amount of data that the game could access from its players.
Three years on, including the launch of another big-brand location game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Niantic is facing questions again about privacy. “Today, when you use Wizards Unite or Pokémon Go or any of Niantic’s other apps, your every move is getting documented and stored—up to 13 times a minute,” reported games publication Kotaku. “Even players who know that the apps record their location data are usually astonished once they look at just how much they’ve told Niantic about their lives through their footsteps… Should what Niantic does with its treasure trove of valuable data remain shrouded in the darkness particular to up-and-coming Silicon Valley darlings, that opacity might become so normalised that users lose any expectation of knowing how they’re being profited from.”
We recommend reading the piece in full if you have 10 minutes spare today: the issues it raises around privacy and the level of knowledge people have about how much data they’re sharing and how it’s being used are relevant to our world of streaming services and digital music marketing too.
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