Pokemon Go facing class action lawsuit over privacy concerns

Niantic, creators of Pokemon Go and Ingress, are facing a class action lawsuit from Calgary, AB, lawfirm D’Arcy and Deacon LLP, over an “invasion of privacy”, according to CBC News.

The primary plaintiff in the case, Barbie Schaeffer, claims her residence has been subject to frequent disturbances from Pokemon Go players because it is marked as a Gym. She tells CBC:

“I can look at a 1 a.m. and I will see people outside playing and the dogs are losing it. Last week bylaw [enforcement] came to the door and they said, ‘You have got complaints, your dogs are barking…This is all so new, we don’t even know what to tell you,'” she said.

The small hamlet Schaeffer resides in, located in central Alberta, is best known for being the home of a museum that decorates gophers in strange attire. Otherwise it is a small and unassuming community with little traffic according to Orbytl Deputy Editor, Evan McIntosh, who is heavily involved in the tourism industry in the region.

In a recent opinion piece for Polygon, he noted how his business saw intruders climbing over a fence to try and catch Pokemon spawning in a protected area of his business.

The suit alleges Niantic have reaped profits based on encouraging players to commit crime, according to CBC.

“Pokestops and Pokemon Gyms were established by Niantic with the callous disregard of property owners, and without prior consultation with property owners. As a result, the Class generally, and the Plaintiff specifically, have been inundated with hordes of trespassing players intruding and invading their privacy,” the statement of claim says.

“The Plaintiff’s property, for example, has been invaded by over 100 intruders since July 22, 2016 in an otherwise sleepy hamlet of fewer than 200 residents.”

It is not clear if either the firm or the primary plaintiff are aware of the ability to have Pokestops removed via a request to Niantic, or if this would be satisfactory to the plaintiffs. Niantic have thus far been responsive to complaints, removing Pokestops from sensitive sites such as memorials.

Read: The original story on CBC.

With local context from Evan McIntosh, Canadian Chief.

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