While Pokemon GO takes the world by storm, some privacy advocates are just shaking their heads in disbelief that millions are willing to give up their personal information to catch the little creatures.
Niantic Labs are adamant that they only collect your user IDs and email addresses, but that hasn’t stopped some from suggesting (even sarcastically) that the game is merely a tool for spooks and even the Illuminati to keep an eye on us all. Plenty of Silicon Valley companies are all about collecting data and the whole surveillance bit, so why isn’t Pokemon GO any different?
Hell, the CEO of Niantic, John Hanke, is the founder of Keyhole, a geospatial visualization company that received a “strategic investment” from In-Q-Tel back in 2003 before being purchased by Google in 2004. Before Hanke founded the company, he was working in foreign affairs for Washington, DC, Myanmar and Indonesia. And just so you know, In-Q-Tel is a venture capital arm of the CIA. What’s more, a majority of those In-Q-Tel funds came from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a “combat support agency” under the United States Department of Defense.
Google purchased Keyhole, which is named after military reconnaissance systems, and used the technology to create Google Earth.
Hanke has since done a host of other things, including founding Niantic Labs and getting the whole damn world back into Pokemon again. He even got Alsop Louie, a team of extremely wealthy investors and entrepreneurs, on the board of directors. It’s worth noting that half of the partners at Alsop Louie worked at intelligence agencies.
Will this information stop anyone from playing the game? Probably not, and this is in no way an attempt to get you to do so. If you enjoy it then power to you, but keep in mind that the brains behind the game are real cozy with the US intelligence community.
That said, those of you who have T-Mobile and play the game are in for a bit of a treat.
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) July 14, 2016
Happy hunting! And seriously, be vigilant when playing; don’t get robbed, stumble across dead bodies, walk off a cliff or drive and play.