Niantic Privacy Policy

Effective as of: October 30, 2018

We are Niantic. We provide real-world augmented reality platforms, designed to enable you to interact in shared worlds, seamlessly blended with the real world. To do that, we need information about you. Protecting your privacy is really important to us. We only use your information where we have a legal basis to do so. This Privacy Policy will help you understand what information we collect, how we use it and what choices you have when you play any of our games, use our websites, buy merchandise from us, or take part in live events and promotions (the "Services").

Please note that in addition to the general information below, specific information about how certain of our Services use your information is provided at the end of this Privacy Policy in the "Game Specific Disclosures".

You should also read our Terms of Service which set out the contract between you and Niantic.

1. Who decides how your information is used?

Niantic, Inc., is the data controller responsible for making decisions about how we use your personal information if you are based outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). If you are based in the EEA, your data controller is Niantic International Limited in the United Kingdom.

If you have any questions or comments on this policy, you can:

2. The information we collect about you and how we use it

This Privacy Policy covers our use of any information that can or could be used to identify you ("Personal Data"). It does not cover information which cannot be used to identify you ("Anonymous Data").

We need to collect and use certain Personal Data to provide the Services to you and fulfil the promises we make to you in the Terms of Service:

  • When you sign up for our Services you give us Personal Data voluntarily by providing it to us, for example when you sign up for an account. We collect and use that information in order to authenticate you when you register an account and use the Services, to make sure you are eligible and able to receive the Services, and so that you receive the correct version of the Services. That information includes the in-game username you choose to use on our Services, and internal account IDs that we assign to your account.

  • You must have an account with a supported third party single sign-on service to use our Services. As such, the Personal Data we collect also depends on which third party accounts you choose to use, their privacy policy, and what your privacy settings with those services allow us to see when you use their services to access Niantic Services.

    • If you choose to link your Google account to the Services, we will collect your Google email address and an authentication token provided by Google.

    • If you choose to link your Facebook account to the Services, we will collect a unique user ID provided by Facebook and, if permitted by you, your Facebook registered email address.

    Depending on the particular Service you sign up for, we may support other third party single sign-on services and collect additional Personal Data from them. For details please read the Game Specific Disclosures at the end of this Privacy Policy.

    Some third-party providers may notify you that they make additional information, such as your public profile, available to us when you use their single sign-on services. We do not collect that information from them.

  • We collect and use your device location information as you use our Services (and, if you elect to turn on background location tracking for our Services, while you are not directly interacting with the Services), including how you move around and events that occur during gameplay. Our Services include location based games whose core feature is to provide a gameplay experience tied to your real world location, so we need to know where you are to operate these games for you, and to plan the location of in-game resources (for example PokéStops within Pokémon GO). We identify your location using a variety of technologies, including GPS, the WiFi points you are accessing the Service through and mobile/cell tower triangulation.

  • We also collect and use your in-game actions and achievements, as well as certain information about your mobile device (including device identifiers, device OS, model, configuration, settings and information about third party applications or software installed on your device), to operate the Services for you and to ensure that we provide a fair gaming experience to all players in accordance with our Terms of Service (which includes anti-fraud and anti-cheating measures against behaviors prohibited under our Terms of Service).

  • We also use the information above to show in-game sponsored locations that are in your vicinity as part of the gameplay experience.

  • We further use the information above in order to provide technical and customer support to you.

  • You also give us Personal Data when you make a purchase through us, subscribe to our publications, register for a live event, enter a competition, promotion, sweepstakes or survey or communicate with us. Depending on which of these Services you use, that may include your name, mailing address, phone number, country of residency, date of birth (as needed to verify eligibility), and email address. We use that information to fulfil those Services to you and to provide related customer support to you.

In addition, we have and rely on a legitimate interest in using your Personal Data as follows:

  • Using your IP address, browser type, operating system, the web page you were visiting before accessing our Services, the pages of our Services which you browsed or the features you used, and the time spent on those pages or features, the links on our Services that you click on, device identifiers, as well as actions you take during gameplay, your in-game user settings and preferences and your in-app purchases to understand who is using our Services and how.

  • Using your contact information, namely your email address in order to communicate with you to provide technical and customer support.

  • Using your internal account ID in order to attribute to your account any user content (such as local points of interest) that you elect to submit to Niantic through the Services.

  • Using your email address and device information in order to share updates and news about the Services with you either within the games or by email. You can unsubscribe from these at any time in your device settings or in-app settings.

  • To provide social features within our games so you can interact and play with other players, including storing your communications with those players, find your friends and be found by them, and share your gameplay experience and achievements with your friends.

  • To offer new or additional features for our Services.

  • To organize and run live events based on or featuring our games. Note that when you participate in live events your in-game actions and achievements, in-game username and your avatar, team, and other components of your in-game profile will be visible to other event participants and to the public (for example on leaderboards displayed at the event and online).

  • To carry out anti-fraud and anti-cheating measures and to ensure that you and other users are complying with our Terms of Service.

  • To make legal or regulatory disclosures.

We will only use your Personal Data to do the following if we have your consent:

  • If you elect to turn on background activity tracking in our Services (for example the Fitness Mode in Pokémon GO) we will collect your Personal Data as you use the Services as well as in the background when you do not have the Services open on your device. This includes your device location and your fitness activity data (such as Step Count, Calories Burned, and Distance Walked). We use background activity tracking to provide you certain functionalities in the Services such as in-game items and rewards tied to your fitness activity level and alerts for nearby gameplay events. You can change your mind and turn off background activity tracking at any time in your device settings or in-app settings.

    With your permission we use your device’s health app (Apple HealthKit if you use an Apple device, or Google Fit if you use an Android device) to collect your fitness activity data: we read and/or write your fitness activity data to your device’s health app to operate background activity tracking and to ensure you get "credit" in your device’s health app for all of the walking you do while playing our games. We do not use data collected through Apple Health Kit or through Google Fit for marketing or advertising purposes. Our Services cannot read from or write to your device’s health app without your consent. You can change your mind and disable our access to any type of fitness activity data at any time in your Apple Health or Google Fit app settings on your device.

  • If you elect to enable the Facebook User Friends permission available in some of our games, we will import from your linked Facebook account the list of your friends who also play the game and enabled Facebook User Friends. If you enable that permission, your Facebook profile picture and the name on your Facebook account will be visible to your friends in-game. You can change your mind and unfriend other players at any time from your in-app Friends settings. You can also revoke Facebook permissions for our games directly from your Facebook account settings.

  • Send you marketing materials by email or via in-app notifications. You can unsubscribe from these at any time in your device settings or in-app settings.

  • We also rely on your consent where we use cookies or similar technologies. Please see our Cookie Policy for more information about how we use them. Insofar as cookies collect Personal Data, we will process it only based on your explicit consent, in anonymized form, or under a pseudonym.

While you may disable the usage of cookies through your browser settings, Niantic currently does not respond to a "Do Not Track" signal in the HTTP header from your browser or mobile application due to the lack of industry standard on how to interpret that signal.

3. Who we share information with

We will not share any Personal Data that we have collected from or regarding you except as described below:

Information Shared with Our Services Providers. We engage third party service providers to work with us to administer and provide the Services. As part of that they will process your Personal Data on our behalf. These third party service providers have access to your Personal Data only for the purpose of performing services on our behalf, in compliance with this Privacy Policy, and we make sure each one is contractually obliged not to disclose or use your Personal Data for any other purpose. The service providers we use help us to:

  • run, operate and maintain our mobile games through third party platform and software tools;

  • perform content moderation and crash analytics;

  • run email and mobile messaging campaigns;

  • perform game and marketing analytics;

  • administer live events, competitions, sweepstakes and promotions, including registering players, managing check-in and attendance, verifying eligibility and prize fulfilment;

  • provide technical and customer support.

Information Shared with Other Players. When you use the Services, and in particular when you play our games, use social features within those games, or take part in live events, we will share certain Personal Data with other players. This Personal Data includes your in-game profile (such as your username, your avatar, and your team), your in-game actions and achievements, the real-world location of gameplay resources you interacted with when playing the games (for example PokéStops within Pokémon GO or Portals within Ingress), and your public in-game messages. For more details please read the Game-Specific Disclosures at the end of this Privacy Policy.

Information Shared with Third Parties. We share Anonymous Data with third parties for industry and market analysis. We may share Personal Data with our third-party publishing partners for their direct marketing purposes only if we have your express permission. We do not share Personal Data with any other third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

Information Disclosed for Our Protection and the Protection of Others. We cooperate with government and law enforcement officials or private parties to enforce and comply with the law. We only share information about you to government or law enforcement officials or private parties when we reasonably believe necessary or appropriate: (a) to respond to claims, legal process (including subpoenas and warrants); (b) to protect our property, rights, and safety and the property, rights, and safety of a third party or the public in general; and (c) to investigate and stop any activity that we consider illegal, unethical, or legally actionable.

Information Disclosed in Connection with Business Transactions. Information that we collect from our users, including Personal Data, is a business asset. If we are acquired by a third party as a result of a transaction such as a merger, acquisition, or asset sale or if our assets are acquired by a third party in the event we go out of business or enter bankruptcy, some or all of our assets, including your Personal Data, will be disclosed or transferred to a third party acquirer in connection with the transaction.

4. How your Personal Data is transferred

Niantic operates its Services across the globe. Your Personal Data will very likely be transferred and stored in a country outside of your home country, including in the USA, for the purposes outlined in this Privacy Policy. The data protection laws in these countries may not be the same as in your home country.

If we transfer your Personal Data from the EEA to other countries, including the USA, we ensure that a similar degree of protection is provided to your Personal Data as within the EEA by ensuring that at least one of the following safeguards is implemented:

  • The country that your Personal Data is transferred to is a country that the European Commission has deemed to provide an adequate level of protection for Personal Data as the EEA.

  • We use specific contracts approved by the European Commission which give Personal Data the same protection as it has in Europe when we engage with service providers.

  • Where we engage with service providers in the USA, they are part of the EU-US Privacy Shield, which requires them to provide the same protection of your Personal Data as it has in the EEA.

5. How we keep your Personal Data safe

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent your Personal Data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorized way, improperly altered or disclosed. We also limit access to your Personal Data to employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your Personal Data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected Personal Data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

6. How long we will keep your Personal Data

We keep your Personal Data for as long as we need to provide the Services to you and fulfil the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. This is also the case for anyone that we share your information with and who carry out services on our behalf.

When we no longer need to use your Personal Data and there is no need for us to keep it to comply with our legal or regulatory obligations, we will either remove it from our systems or anonymize it so that it can no longer be associated with you.

7. Your rights and choices

You have certain rights in relation to your Personal Data. In order to exercise these rights, please contact us at:

You can:

  • Request access to the Personal Data we hold on you.

  • Delete or correct your Personal Data. The easiest way to update your account information is via your in-app settings. You can also submit a customer support request through our support website here for Pokémon GO, or here for Ingress.

  • Object to us processing your Personal Data. Some of the Personal Data we hold is necessary for us to provide the Services to you and fulfill the promises we make to you in the Terms of Service.

  • Ask us to stop using your Personal Data, including for marketing and promotional purposes (but be aware that sometimes we need to use your Personal Data in order for you to use the Services).

  • Have your Personal Data transferred to another organization (where it is technically feasible).

  • Complain to a regulator. We'd appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns directly so we'd prefer you to contact us first. However, if you're based in the EEA and believe that we have not complied with data protection laws, you can complain to our regulator, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, or with your local supervisory authority.

The law provides exceptions to these rights in certain circumstances. Where you cannot exercise one of these rights due to such an exception, we will explain to you why.

We offer you choices regarding the collection, use, and sharing of your Personal Data and we’ll respect the choices you make. Please note that if you decide not to provide us with the Personal Data that we request, you may not be able to access all of the features of the Services.

We aim to provide the information or complete the outcome you request within 30 days.

8. Children

As a general rule, children are not allowed to use the Services, and we do not collect Personal Data from them. We define "children" as follows:

  • Residents outside of the EEA: anyone under 13 years old;

  • Residents of the EEA: anyone under 16 years old, or the age needed to consent to the processing of personal data in your country of residence.

We do however allow children to use the Pokémon GO Service, provided we have the required parental consent. Parents can provide and verify their consent through the Niantic Kids Parent Portal, or through Pokémon Trainer Club (for more details on Pokémon Trainer Club please read the Game-Specific Disclosures at the end of this Privacy Policy).

The Niantic Kids Parent Portal is operated on Niantic’s behalf by Kids Web Services (KWS), a product of SuperAwesome Trading Ltd of 40 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LG, United Kingdom, www.superawesome.tv. You may contact SuperAwesome directly at privacy@superawesome.tv or +44 203 668 6677 for any questions related to their handling of user information, especially parent information. KWS is certified by the kidSAFE Seal Program, an FTC-Approved COPPA Safe Harbor Program. SuperAwesome is also a valid licensee, and participating member, of the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s Privacy Certified Program ("ESRB Privacy Certified").

Verifiable parental consent is required for the collection, use, or disclosure of a child's Personal Data. Niantic will not collect, use, or disclose any Personal Data from a child if their parent or guardian does not provide such consent.

Parents who wish to consent to their child accessing our Services must first create a Niantic Kids account so they can manage the privacy settings of their child’s account. Parents will then be required to verify their identity through the Niantic Kids Parent Portal operated by SuperAwesome. In order to perform that verification, SuperAwesome requires certain personal information about parents. Any such information is collected by SuperAwesome as a Third Party Service in accordance with their own Privacy Policy, which can be found at https://parents.superawesome.tv/en/privacy.

Once verified, a parent can consent to their child creating a user account and accessing the Service. For user account creation, Niantic will collect the in-game username the child chooses to use on our Services, internal account IDs that we assign to the child’s account, and, with the parent’s permission, the child’s personal email address. We need that information to authenticate the child’s account, to make sure the child is eligible and able to receive the Services, and so that the child receives the correct version of the Services. As the child accesses and uses the Service, Niantic will also collect the child’s device location and other Personal Data listed in this Privacy Policy for the purpose of operating and providing the Service to the child, as described in this Privacy Policy.

Parents have the right to refuse further collection, use, and/or disclosure of their child’s Personal Data by notifying us. As a parent, you understand that Niantic has a legitimate interest in providing your child’s Personal Data collected via the Services to third party providers for the sole purpose of administering or providing the Services, as described in Paragraph 3 of this Privacy Policy.

If we learn that we have collected Personal Data of a child, and we do not have parental consent, we will take steps to delete such information from our files as soon as possible.

9. Changes to this Privacy Policy

Any Personal Data that we collect is covered by the Privacy Policy in effect at the time such information is collected. We may make changes to this Privacy Policy from time to time. You will be given reasonable notice of any material change.

10. Third Parties

In using our Services you may access links to websites and services that are owned or operated by third parties (each, a "Third Party Service"). Any information that you provide on or to a Third Party Service or that is collected by a Third Party Service is provided directly to the owner or operator of the Third Party Service and is subject to the owner’s or operator’s privacy policy. We’re not responsible for the content, privacy, or security practices and policies of any Third Party Service. To protect your information we recommend that you carefully review the privacy policies of all Third Party Service that you access.

11. Game Specific Disclosures

Additional Privacy Information for Pokémon GO

Pokémon Trainer Club Accounts. You can sign up for Pokémon GO using your third-party Pokémon Trainer Club ("PTC") account administered by The Pokémon Company International (“TPCI”). If you choose to do so, we will collect from TPCI your PTC registered email address, your PTC username and a unique PTC user ID. If you are registering your PTC account on behalf of your authorized child we will also collect some Personal Data about your child. See the “Accounts with Children” paragraph below for more information.

Accounts with Children. We comply with parental consent requirements as mandated by the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and European data protection laws (including, without limitation, the General Data Protection Regulation) through a verification and consent process handled by TPCI. As described in the Pokémon GO Terms of Service, the parent or legal guardian ("Parent") of each child under the age of 13, or in the EEA 16 or the age needed to consent to the processing of personal data (“Child”), must register with TPCI through a PTC account before their Child can access and use the game. The Parent will have to provide to TPCI certain Personal Data about the Child in accordance with the TPCI privacy policy. Of that, Niantic will only collect from TPCI the Child’s personal email address, and the date when the Child will grow out of the age limits listed above.

For U.S. residents, after a Parent has registered a PTC account, TPCI will verify the Parent’s identity by asking for the sum of the first and last digits of the Parent’s social security number and the Parent’s name, date of birth, and street address. TPCI will not share that information with us. After TPCI verifies the Parent’s identity, it will ask the Parent to consent to the Child accessing Pokémon GO. If a Parent does not consent to a Child’s access to and use of Pokémon GO or does not verify their identity through the consent process, Niantic will bar that Child’s registration on Pokémon GO and prevent the Child’s access to and use of the game.

Parents have the right to refuse further collection, use, and/or disclosure of their Child’s Personal Data by notifying us. As a Parent, you understand that Niantic has a legitimate interest in providing your Child’s information collected via the Services to third party providers for the sole purpose of administering or providing the Services, as described in Paragraph 3 of this Privacy Policy.

Information shared with other players. When you take certain actions in Pokémon GO and capture a Gym, your (or your authorized Child’s) username will be shared publicly through the game, including with other players, in connection with that Gym location.

Additional Privacy Information for Ingress

Information shared publicly. When you play Ingress, as part of the gameplay the following information about you will be shared through the game (including with other players directly within the app, in game notifications emailed to other players as part of the gameplay, and online on the Ingress Intel Map website), and will therefore become publicly available: your in-game username, messages sent to other users in COMMS, and in-game portals that you interact with, as well as your device location whenever you take an in-game action.