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The Complaints the FTC Received Over Pokémon Go

Will someone please think of the children?

(Photo: Eduardo Woo/CC BY-SA 2.0)

A version of this story originally appeared on Muckrock.com.

FTC complaints released to Robert Delaware regarding the uber-popular augmented reality game Pokemon GO run the gamut from allegations of fraud, to concerns about privacy, all the way to full-on “these pokemons are going to kill us all” hysteria.

The vast majority of complaints regarded the game’s infamously unreliable servers and how that impacted the utility of in-game purchases …

Additional Comments: I would like this company to partially refund us. We were able to use at best half of the time on our products. I can provide all the information needed to validate our accounts with this company as well. I believe accountability is something every company should focus on. Stakeholders include the customer base and our concerns that are voiced deserve answers.

Others touched upon more serious issues, such as the game’s equally infamous privacy concerns

The Pokemon Go mobile game privacy policy states that they access “PII such as email address” but their app requires FULL google account access to function - giving them access to all emails, calendar contents, contacts, etc. At no time when creating an account or linking the game to one’s google account does the app state the extent of the access or that the required access far exceeds that described in the privacy policy. Revoking access from one’s google account forces the game to log out and logging back into the game reinstates full google account access. This game is aimed at children and very aggressively deceives players into revealing potentially incredibly private information.

and its tendency to turn less-than-public areas into sought-after PokeStops: hospitals…

We are a small hospital in Oregon and Nintendo Pokemon Go players are descending on our halls and asking to go into private areas to take pictures and get their game points. In the process, they may see our patients in rooms and halls. Our hospital works to carefully protect patient privacy and is in a dilemma, protect privacy versus public service. We ask that Nintendo NOT allow hospitals or clinics to listed as sites where anyone may locate a Pokemon target.

campsites …

Pokemon Go is a safety hazard for children that attend our Day Camp at Plum Creek church. We have elementary aged children at our Camp and intruders are coming onto the private property while the Camp is in session. This is not a negotiable situation and should be immediately rectified!

and more than one private residence.

Consumer states that Pokemon Go has violated his rights. He states that his home is included and tagged in this game. He states that he is having people at his home at 2am playing the game.

A couple were more of the “will somebody please think of the children” variety.

I am deeply upset and concerned about the safety of every person playing Pokemon go especially the children. I almost killed a child today who was riding his bike and veared into the road way holding his cell phone up. I have many friends and family member who report similar instances and I see on the news it is possible a death occurred due to this game and countless injuries and even attacks on those not paying attention to their surroundings. This has to be one of the most unsafe products out! Not only for those who purchased it but for those who have not and may get in a car accident because of someone else playing it. Please please get this product off the market asap!!!! Before children are killed!!!!!!! —- Additional Comments: Recall! Get it off the market!! It is unsafe!!!

And then there’s this guy, who somehow equates Nintendo’s lack of sufficient dedicated servers with murdering children:

Additional Comments: Refund with an apology. Kids have already been shot and killed playing this game… It’s not a finished game and no where during install does it mention this.

Read the full complaints embedded below.