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Are Pokémon Stealing Your Legal Rights?

November 30, 2016
Colson Hicks Eidson

Do you play Pokémon Go? Do you enjoy your constitutional right to go to court? Are you afraid Pokémon Go could have a data leak? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it may interest you to know something. The terms of service in Pokémon Go includes a forced arbitration clause. Do you know what that means?

Are Pokémon Stealing Your Legal Rights?

The attorneys at Colson Hicks Eidson have been on a quest to keep you informed about your legal rights. That’s why we’ve gone to great lengths to inform you about the dangers of forced arbitration clauses. These hidden clauses force you to give up your right to take a company to court. And the Pokémon Go terms of service has just such a hidden clause.

Forced arbitration has been used by banks and credit card companies to shield them from lawsuits. It doesn’t matter if what they did to a consumer was illegal, a forced arbitration clause can help a bank avoid punishment. Forced arbitration clauses have even been used to shield nursing homes from charges of abuse and worse. Now Niantic Labs—developer of Pokémon Go—are using it to avoid responsibility for any harm that might be caused to you by their game.

What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

If Niantic’s servers are ever compromised, and your personal information is stolen, then thieves could steal your identity. However, you wouldn’t be able to take Niantic to court over the losses from your identity theft. You would have to go to arbitration instead, where Niantic could influence the outcome of your case. Luckily, there is a solution.

The Consumerist has discovered that you can opt-out of the forced arbitration clause in Pokémon Go’s terms of service. Just send an e-mail to termsofservice@nianticlabs.com with the subject line “Arbitration Opt-out Notice.” Clearly state that you are opting out of the arbitration clause, and keep your constitutional rights.