What’s Pokémon(TM) GO for your business

As the Pokémon Go craze takes a grip, the initial request for full access to the user’s Google account when downloading the app, set the internet abuzz with concern that subscribers’ privacy protocols were being broken.

Despite Niantic’s recent assurance that “no other Google account information is, or has been accessed or collected” the discovery that the Pokémon GO account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user’s Google account”[1] put Niantic’s reputation at risk.

What Niantic’s statement reflects is the current substantial gap between the processes involved in developing and marketing applications, and the ability to truly understand how consumers’ privacy expectations are being met.

This means that any business, which includes cookies, bots or collects user data, must be aware of:

  • What information is collected and whether it is necessary to provide the product or service
  • What effect a third party application has on the privacy of your organisation and its subscribers
  • What the information will be used for and who it will be shared with
  • Whether your privacy policy is clear and how it rates against privacy regulations and public scrutiny.

As disruptive technologies increasingly become the ‘norm’, issues like this are progressively bringing privacy and organisational policies to the forefront of the international stage.


What can you do to improve the privacy capability of your organisation?

  • Ensure you understand what your app does in regards to privacy. This includes the what, why and how of data collection. The last thing you want to be known for is your inability to protect your customers’ information.
  • Conduct a privacy pulse survey for your customers to understand your customers. This will inspire confidence in your company and loyalty in your customers for asking about their thoughts.
  • Review current privacy issues and news and learn from the mistakes of other organisations.
  • Ensure that your own organisations privacy policy is clear. While vague and ambiguous language may protect you legally and cover most bases, the value of your reputation is higher, and tarnishing it will hinder you in the long term.

See our 2016 Deloitte Australian Privacy Index here.

[1]Niantic, Permissions Update https://support.pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/222648408-Permissions-update 15/07/2016

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