Pokemon Go Risks
The Pokemon Go craze has created some legal risks that players should be aware of. In the first few weeks since the game's release, there have been Pokemon Go-related car accidents, robberies, personal injuries, and security breaches and commercial fraud. It is easy to dismiss these as isolated events, but as Pokemon Go gains in popularity, it is becoming increasingly clear that the risks associated with its use deserve more examination.
Many drivers talk and text on their cell phone as they drive. Nobody should do it, but we have all become accustomed to the fact that some people do it anyway. Pokemon Go adds a new risk for drivers—that someone else on the road will be playing a game while they drive. There has already been one documented car accident caused by a distracted driver playing the game. On July 12, 2016, a 28-year-old New York driver crashed his car into a tree. The driver admitted that he was paying attention to his Pokemon Go app at the time. Like texting or using a hand-held cell phone, drivers should never play a game while driving.
The Pokemon Go distraction doesn't just pose a hazard to drivers. It can also lead to accidents when Pokemon Go-obsessed pedestrians are staring at their phone, wandering into the street, or into cyclists, each other, a manhole, etc.—you get the picture. We all have a duty to act with reasonable care, and that includes being aware of our surroundings at all times.
Pokemon Go-Related Robberies
Sadly, there have also been instances of people using the app to rob victims. Four Missouri suspects, all teenagers, were accused earlier this month of using the app to lure victims to a place where they could be robbed. The teens are suspected of using the app to commit 10 to 12 robberies in the St. Louis area.
Pokemon Go players should be aware of their real-life surroundings and respect the privacy of those around them. Don't play the game in inappropriate settings or take pictures of people who don't want their picture taken.
It has been reported that downloading the app gives it full account access on Google. One expert stated, "[D]ownloading Pokémon Go would enable it to read all your email, send email as you, access all your Google Drive documents (including deleting them), access any private photos you may store in Google Photos, and a whole lot more."
This is the one problem that cannot really be avoided if users want to play, but it is a risk that users should be aware of.
Another risk to watch out for is downloading fake Pokemon Go apps created by scammers. It has been reported that fake Pokemon Go apps will lock phones and access pornography sites.
Pokemon Go-Related Claims
Pokemon Go players should retain their common sense as they play their game to avoid falling into one of the above pitfalls. Scott D. Hughes is a California attorney who represents clients in a wide variety of matters. If you suffered Pokemon Go-related harm, contact the Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes at 714-423-6928 for a free consultation.