Pokémon Go Privacy Concerns

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Pokémon Go is sweeping the country, with players spending hours looking for Pokemon characters with the augmented reality app. While they’re not like most games that pay instantly to cash app, to play, gamers must agree to provide personal information and the game does track the phone’s location, as well as creating access to your IP address and recent web site activity. Fennemore Craig attorney Ray Harris will discuss privacy permissions users provide when they sign up to play Pokémon Go.

ANNOUNCER: JUST OFF I-10 IN THE TOWN OF QUARTZSITE STANDS A GRAVESTONE TO A CURIOUS NAME STILL CELEBRATED IN THESE PARTS.HI JOLLY - IT WAS ACTUALLY A GREEK SYRIAN IMMIGRANT WHO CAME TO THE UNITED STATES IN 1856 AND WORKED FOR THE ARMY AS THE CARETAKER OF A HERD OF ANIMALS USED IN AN EXPERIMENT AIMED AT ESTABLISHING A NEW WAY TO TRANSPORT GOODS ACROSS THE SOUTHWESTERN DESERTS BY CAMEL. THE CIVIL WAR ENDED THE ARMY'S FASCINATION WITH THE CAMELS AND THEY WERE TURNED LOOSE IN THE DESERT. HE REMAINED A FAITHFUL ARMY SCOUT FOR 30 SOME YEARS AND DIED IN QUARTSITE IN 1902. WILD CAMELS WERE SPOTTED IN ARIZONA AS LATE AS 1935 AND SOME BELIEVE THEY STILL ROAM THE DESERT. A HAUNTING AND ROMANTIC LEGACY WHOSE MONUMENT STILL ATTRACTS THOUSANDS OF VISITORS EVERY YEAR.

TED: THE "POKÉMON GO" CRAZE SHOWS NO SIGNS OF LETTING UP AS THE GAME CONTINUES TO ATTRACT PLAYERS USING THEIR SMARTPHONES TO TRACK DOWN IMAGINARY MONSTERS. BUT IN ORDER TO PLAY, GAMERS HAVE TO AGREE TO PROVIDE ALL SORTS OF PERSONAL INFORMATION. HERE TO TALK ABOUT PRIVACY CONCERNS INVOLVING THE GAME IS ATTORNEY RAY HARRIS OF FENNEMORE CRAIG. THANKS FOR JOINING US.

RAY HARRIS : THANK YOU.

TED: LET'S DEFINE TERMS HERE, WHAT IS "POKÉMON GO"?

RAY HARRIS : IT'S AN AUGMENTED REALITY GAME PLAYED WITH YOUR CELLPHONE AND YOU TRAVEL AROUND AND THE GAME PUTS POKÉMON CHARACTERS IN THE ENVIRONMENT. AROUND YOU. YOU TRY TO CAPTURE THEM AND TRAIN THEM AND THE MORE CHARACTERS YOU CAPTURE, THE MORE POWER YOU HAVE TO CAPTURE MORE.

TED: I GUESS IT'S SHORT FOR POCKET MONSTERS, CORRECT?

RAY HARRIS : YES.

TED: AND BASICALLY, IT'S LIKE A GPS-GUIDED TREASURE HUNT?

RAY HARRIS : CORRECT, IT'S -- IT USES THE GPS SYSTEM IN YOUR PHONE. IT KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE AND IT GUIDES YOU TO WHERE OF THE CHARACTERS ARE. IT HAS THINGS CALLED POKE STOPS WHERE THE CHARACTERS GATHER AND YOU CAN HAVE LURES THAT WILL ATTRACT THE CHARACTERS TO A GIVEN LOCATION. AND YOU TRY TO -- TRY TO CATCH THEM ALL.

TED: ALL RIGHT, SO HOW MUCH PERSONAL INFORMATION IS REQUIRED TO PLAY?

RAY HARRIS : WELL, BECAUSE IT'S INTERACTIVE WITH THE ENVIRONMENT, IT NEEDS TO KNOW WHERE YOU ARE AND IT NEEDS TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE. BECAUSE THE SUCCESS YOU HAVE IN THE GAME DEFINES YOUR POWER TO CAPTURE THE CHARACTERS. IT NEEDS TO TRACK YOU AND NEEDS TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU ELECTRONICALLY AND NEEDS AN EMAIL ADDRESS.

TED: THE PHONE INFORMATION IS TRACKED AND RECENT WEB ACTIVITY, IS THAT TRACKED AS WELL?

RAY HARRIS : ONLY THE ACTIVITY RELATED TO THE GAME.

TED: OK, ACCESS TO PERSONAL I.P.?

RAY HARRIS : ONLY YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.

TED: ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH THAT?

RAY HARRIS : WELL, I ACTUALLY THINK MOST PEOPLE ARE COMFORTABLE WITH THAT. THE PROBLEM WAS THAT INITIALLY WHEN PEOPLE LOOKED AT THE CONSENT BEING GIVEN, IT APPEARED TO BE EXTREMELY BROAD. IT WAS FULL ACCOUNT ACCESS. AND IT DIDN'T NEED TO BE. SO BOTH THE POKÉMON DEVELOPER AND GOOGLE, MOST PEOPLE SIGNED UP THROUGH THEIR GMAIL ACCOUNT. POKÉMON AND GOOGLE CORRECTED THAT PROBLEM AND CUT BACK ON THE AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION.

TED: THE INITIAL REPORTS WERE THAT THE APPS COULD SEE YOUR GOOGLE ACCOUNTS YOUR GOOGLE SEARCH AND ACCESS YOUR PHOTOS AND PRIVATE PHOTOS, ALL OF THESE THINGS. DID THOSE NOT HAPPEN? WAS THAT SOME SORT OF SCARE? DO THEY HAPPEN NOW?

RAY HARRIS : I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY EVIDENCE THAT DID HAPPEN AND WOULD NOT HAPPEN NOW, BECAUSE THE ACCESS HAS BEEN REDUCED. BUT THEORETICALLY, IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED.

TED: WHAT ABOUT KIDS PLAYING THIS GAME? AND AGAIN, PERSONAL INFORMATION REGARDING CHILDREN. IS THAT A CONCERN?

RAY HARRIS : WELL, ABSOLUTELY, IF YOU ARE A PRIVACY ADVOCATE AND CONCERNED ABOUT PRIVACY, THE LAW PROTECTS BASICALLY THREE THINGS. IT PROTECTS INFORMATION ABOUT CHILDREN, IT PROTECTS MEDICAL INFORMATION, AND IT PROTECTS FINANCIAL INFORMATION. EVERYTHING ELSE, IT'S UP TO YOU AS A CONSUMER TO PROTECT YOURSELF.

TED: RIGHT.

RAY HARRIS : AND THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN GREAT CONCERN WITH ACCESS TO INFORMATION ABOUT CHILDREN THROUGH THE INTERNET. THERE'S A FEDERAL STATUTE THAT'S BEEN AROUND QUITE A FEW YEARS, I THINK SINCE 1998, CALLED THE CHILDREN'S ONLINE PRIVACY PROTECTION AND IT REQUIRES PARENTAL CONSENT FOR ANYONE WHO IS UNDER 13.

TED: IF YOU'RE A PARENT AND JUNIOR SAYS I WANT TO PLAY "POKÉMON GO" AND JUNIOR IS 8, 9, 10, 11, WHATEVER, SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED?

RAY HARRIS : WELL, NO MORE THAN ANY OTHER GAME, CERTAINLY NO MORE THAN ANY OTHER INTERACTIVE GAME. THERE'S CONCERNS WITH POKÉMON BECAUSE IT'S EXPECTING YOU TO NAVIGATE THROUGH THE COMMUNITY AND WE SEE PEOPLE WHO AREN'T EVEN PLAYING AN INTERACTIVE GAME READING THEIR PHONE AND TRIPPING OVER THE SIDEWALK.

TED: COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO EVERYTHING AROUND THEM WHICH I GUESS IS ANOTHER SET OF PROBLEMS. AS FAR AS PRIVACY CONCERNS WERE THEY OVERHYPED?

RAY HARRIS : IN THE SENSE THAT THIS WASN'T HAPPENING. IT WAS A THEORETICAL PROBABILITY AND OVERHYPED IN THE SENSE THAT THE "POKÉMON GO" GAME IS NOT UNIQUE. ANY GAME THAT'S INTERACTIVE IN THIS WAY IS GOING TO REQUIRE THE SAME KIND OF ACCESS TO LOCATION AND IDENTITY.

TED: SO BASICALLY, TRACKING LOCATION, THAT'S COMMON WITH THESE APPS?

RAY HARRIS : YES. IT'S COMMON WITH A LOT OF APPS THAT YOU WOULDN'T EVEN PERHAPS THINK. IF YOU USE YELP, IT'S TRACKING YOUR LOCATION TO TELL YOU NEARBY RESTAURANTS. AND GOOGLE MAPS, TRACKING YOUR LOCATION TO TELL YOU HOW TO GET FROM WHERE YOU ARE.

TED: SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED-THESE LOCATION DEVICES, WE WOULD LIKE TO FOLLOW YOUR LOCATION, YOU SAY, YES, OK. SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED ABOUT THAT? IS THERE A WORRY ALONG THOSE LINES?

RAY HARRIS : I PERSONALLY AM NOT THE WORRIED ABOUT THAT, BUT THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES. IF I AM IN A DRIVING ACCIDENT, AND I WAS PLAYING "POKÉMON GO," THAT'S DISCOVERABLE. THE INJURED PARTY CAN GET THAT DATA OFF OF THE WEBSITE THAT IS MAINTAINED BY THE DEVELOPER. AND I WILL BE LIABLE FOR THAT. IF I'M ENGAGED IN SOME KIND OF TRESPASS OR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, MY LOCATION IS DISCOVERABLE. SO I GUESS THOSE ARE CONCERNS. THEY AREN'T MY PERSONAL CONCERNS.

TED: RIGHT, BUT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE AWARE ENOUGH IN GENERAL?

RAY HARRIS : NO, I DO NOT THINK THAT PEOPLE ARE AWARE. WHEN THEY SAY, "I AGREE," THERE'S ALL KINDS OF PROVISIONS IN WHAT THEY JUST AGREED TO THAT DEFINES WHAT INFORMATION THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPER HAS ACCESS TO AND WHAT THE SOFTWARRE DEVELOPER CAN DO WITH IT AND 90% OF THE TIME -- THAT'S A STATISTIC I JUST MADE UP. BUT ALMOST ALL OF THE TIME, THE DEVELOPER WILL SAY, I'M GOING TO COLLECT WHATEVER DATA I WANT AND USE IT HOWEVER I WANT. BECAUSE IF THE DEVELOPER SAYS ANYTHING ELSE, IF THEY SAY I'M NOT GOING TO USE IT FOR THIS OR I'M NOT GOING TO COLLECT THAT, THEY HAVE TO WRITE ALL SORTS OF SOFTWARE TO MAKE SURE THEY DON'T. SO THE EASY THING IS TO SAY I'M GOING TO TAKE EVERYTHING AND IF I WANT TO SELL IT TO SOMEONE LATER, I CAN. THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SIGNING OFF TO WHEN THEY AGREE TO PLAY THESE GAMES.

TED: ANY TIME YOU WOULD BE CONCERNED WHETHER IT'S AN ONLINE GAME, AN APP, THE WHOLE NINE YARDS. WHAT WOULD STOP IT SHORT FOR YOU?

RAY HARRIS : FOR ME, WHAT WOULD STOP SHORT IF THEY WERE GOING TO -- IF I KNEW THEY WERE GOING TO SELL THIS DATA TO SEND ADVERTISEMENTS TO ME AND I DIDN'T THINK I WOULD HAVE ANY INTEREST IN THOSE, THAT WOULD CAUSE ME TO SAY, WELL, PLAYING THIS GAME ISN'T WORTH OF THE AGGRAVATION. BUT IT'S AN AGGRAVATION.

TED: AGGRAVATION AS OPPOSED TO A PRIVACY CONCERN.

RAY HARRIS : YES.

TED: GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE. GOOD INFORMATION. THANKS FOR JOINING US.

RAY HARRIS : THANK YOU.

ANNOUNCER: CRONKITE NEWS HAS THE LARGEST PRESENCE OF ANY NEWS ORGANIZATION AT THE NATIONAL POLITICAL CONVENTION. GET THE FULL COVERAGE WITH THE UNIQUE ARIZONA COVERAGE DAILY WITH CRONKITE NEWS ON ARZIONA PBS.

TED: MORE THAN 6,000-MILES SEPARATE PHOENIX FROM THE SISTER CITY OF HIMEJI, JAPAN. JUST OFF A BUSY FREEWAY IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN PHOENIX THE TWO CITIES SHARE A UNIQUE CONNECTION. PRODUCER CHRISTINA ESTES AND PHOTOGRAPHER LANGSTON FIELDS TAKE US TO THE JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN.

REIKO REAVIS : THIS IS A PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO COME AND ENJOY. AND I WANT THEM TO FORGET EVERYTHING -- YOU KNOW, DAILY LIFE. PROBLEMS -- WHEN THEY COME THROUGH THE GATES. I WANT THEM FOCUS ON THE MOMENT AND SEE HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS PLACE IS.

REIKO REAVIS : MY NAME IS REIKO REAVIS, THE INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

REPORTER: AND THIS IS REIKO'S OFFICE.

REIKO REAVIS : THIS GARDEN HAS 4 REGIONS- MOUNTAINS, BEACH AREA, WOODS, LOWER GLASS LAND.
REPORTER: EACH SECTION REPRESENTS THE MAJOR TYPE OF TERRAIN IN JAPAN. THE IDEA TO TRANSFORM 3 AND A HALF ACRES OF SONORAN DESERT INTO A LUSH DISPLAY OF JAPANESE CULTURE CAME IN 1987.

REIKO REAVIS : THE MAYOR OF JAPAN SAID YES TO A PROPOSED IDEA TO MAKE A JAPANESE GARDEN IN PHOENIX TO CEMENT OUR RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO CITIES.

REPORTER: REIKO SAYS MORE THAN 50 DESIGNERS AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS AND LANDSCAPERS DONATED THEIR TIME AND KNOWLEDGE. AND MADE TRIPS TO PHOENIX TO UNDERSTAND THE CLIMATE AND CHOOSE LOCAL MATERIALS. THEY TRAVELED ACROSS THE STATE TO HAND-PICK 1500 TONS OF ROCK AND STONE.

REIKO REAVIS : ROCKS AND NATURE, HAVE -- ROCKS HAVE A SPIRIT OF THE GODS. SO WHEN WE REMOVE THESE ROCKS FROM THE MOUNTAIN, BRING IT TO OUR GARDEN OR ANY GARDEN IN JAPAN, THOSE GARDENERS OFTEN TOLD ME THAT YOU HAVE TO BE VERY THANKFUL AND RESPECT TO THE NATURE, TO, YOU KNOW, GIVE THEM -- THEIR SPIRIT. WE'RE MOVING THEIR HOME, THESE ROCKS' HOMES, AND MOVING THE ROCKS TO OUR GARDEN. SO WHEN WE PLACE THESE ROCKS IN A GARDEN, WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL, THEY SAY, YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE ROCKS ARE PLACED IN A PLACE THEY'RE HAPPY TO BE.

REPORTER: THEY WERE ESPECIALLY HAPPY TO FIND THIS PIECE, WHICH RESEMBLES A TURTLE, A SIGNIFICANT SYMBOL IN JAPAN.

REIKO REAVIS : THAT MEANS LONG LIFE. SO THEY LIKE THAT SHAPE.

DELLA KILLEEN: YOU COULD BE STANDING IN THE HIGH COUNTRY OF ARIZONA BUT THAT LITTLE STREAM TAKES YOU AWAY TO ANOTHER PLACE.

REPORTER: DELLA KILLEEN IS THE GARDEN'S CURATOR MANAGES. SHE HANDLES 65 TYPES OF GROUND COVER AND TREES AND BAMBOO.

DELLA KILLEEN: WE HAVE THREE TYPES OF BAMBOO. WE HAVE GIANT BAMBOO, GOLDEN BAMBOO, AND A VERY BEAUTIFUL BAMBOO WHICH IS STRIPED.

DELLA KILLEEN: JAPANESE GARDENS OFFER A CONTRAST TO DIFFERENT SHAPES SO YOU WOULD SEE SHRUBS THAT HAVE BEEN SHEARED INTO A TYPICAL JAPANESE STYLE. YOU WILL ALSO SEE TREES THAT HAVE BEEN SCULPTED IN THE TRADITIONAL JAPANESE STYLE AND WE CALL THOSE OUR SPECIMEN TREES- THOSE ARE THE LAYERED TREES. AS YOU LOOK AROUND, YOU SEE VERY MUTED HUES OF GREEN. YOU WILL SEE MANY ORANGES. THAT'S TYPICAL OF A JAPANESE GARDEN.

REPORTER: BRIDGES ARE ALSO TYPICAL. THIS ONE IS CURVED LIKE A JAPANESE DRUM AND ANOTHER ZIGZAGGED SHAPED, DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE SLOW DOWN, PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY. HUNDREDS OF CHOI FILL THE POND IN THE CENTER OF THE GARDEN.

REIKO REAVIS : ONE OR TWO FISH CAME FROM JAPAN- THEY WERE RELEASED WHEN WE HAD A GROUND OPENING DAY.

REPORTER: THE PEOPLE ALSO CONTRIBUTED SEVERAL LANTERNS AND SCULPTS -- THIS PIECE CALLED SHACHI HAS BECOME THE GARDEN'S LOGO. THE MYTHICAL HALF TIGER HALF FISH HAS BEEN USED ON THE ROOF OF CASTLES SINCE THE 15TH CENTURY. INCLUDING THIS CAPITAL IN HIMEJI.

REIKO REAVIS : IN JAPAN WE USE A LOT OF WOOD WHEN WE MAKE BUILDINGS AND THE FIRE WAS THE MOST FEAR PEOPLE HAD. SO BY PLACING THOSE FISH ON TOP OF THE CASTLE, PEOPLE BELIEVE THE FISH WILL SPIT THE WATER OUT OF THEIR MOUTH TO PUT THE FIRE OUT.

REPORTER: THE HIMEJI CASTLE IS KNOWN AS THE WHITE HERON AND PHOENIX IS KNOWN FOR THE MYTHOLOGICAL BIRD THAT NEVER DIES. BOTH MAKE UP THE GARDEN'S OFFICIAL NAME. RO IS THE JAPENSE WORD FOR HERON AND HO IS FOR THE PHOENIX BIRD-EN IS FOR GARDEN.

REIKO REAVIS : IT'S A PERFECT NAME FOR TWO CITIES TWO BIRDS COMBINED TOGETHER.

TED: THE GARDEN IS ALSO HOME TO A TRADITIONAL TEA HOUSE THAT HOSTS A VARIETY OF AUTHENTIC CEREMONIES. YOU CAN GET MORE INFORMATION AT JAPANESEFRIENDSHIPGARDEN.ORG.
TUESDAY ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," HEAR ABOUT THE NEW STATISTICS ON CHILDHOOD HUNGER IN THE STATE. AND WE'LL SEE HOW THE ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS ARE GOING GREEN. THAT'S NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON." THAT IS IT FOR NOW. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING!

Ray Harris: Fennemore Craig Attorney

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