Pokémon Go: Developer changes terms & conditions

Successful warning by German consumer protection

The app Pokémon Go excites thousands of consumers of every age. But the game also has its negative sides, as the German consumer protection agency Verbraucherzentrale-Bundesverband (vzbv) exhibited. They sent a warning to the US developer of the game, Niantic, regarding a total of 15 terms & conditions. The company now agreed on changing the respective clauses.

Data protection and legal issues criticised

In order to play the game, users had to provide a lot of personal data and allow access to such. At the same time, it would have been possible for Niantic to forward such data to third parties without an extra permission of the user. The contract could be unilaterally terminated or changed at any time. The refund of in-app-purchases with real money was excluded.

In case of disputes, only Californian law was applicable. To raise claims, consumers had to go through American arbitration proceedings. According to the vzbv, such strong disadvantages don't comply with German law. Niantic promised not to use those terms & conditions from now on. The vzbv set a deadline until the end of this year for changes of the conditions.

Pokémon - popular monsters of the 90ies

The little monsters are well known since many years from a tv series, movies and countless games for consoles and Gameboy. With the app, their popularity has reached a new high, not least because of its innovative concept: The game is based on Augmented Reality which means that it combines the real surroundings of the player with fictional elements. The Pokémon hunters have sort of a city map on their smartphones, showing the monsters and arenas for fights.

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