Move over, Candy Crush: Pokémon Go is officially the king of mobile games. With over 20 million users in the US alone, there is no shortage of Pokémon trainers out to catch ’em all.
But for those who worry that Pokémon Go compromises their internet privacy, this guide will show you how to remove your Pokémon Go profile.
Note: When you remove your profile, you will lose all game data associated with your game account. Profile deletion requests are irreversible, so think twice before proceeding!
Pokémon Go and your privacy
Before you go out an catch ’em all, you should learn about the types of information that Pokémon Go collects from you. These include:
- Basic account information: your name, birthday, and either your Pokémon Trainer Club email, Google email address, or Facebook email address. If you are creating an account for a child, Pokémon GO will collect the above information for the child user too.
- Usage information: cookies and similar technologies may be used to identify you and monitor how you use Pokémon GO. Besides Niantic (the developers of Pokémon GO), third parties that work with Niantic may place cookies on your device too.
- Device information: Niantic can use “device identifiers” to learn about the type of device and the device settings you use to access the game.
- Location information: as you play Pokémon GO, your username and physical location data will be collected and stored.
How does Pokémon GO use my information?
After collecting your information, Niantic may retain it themselves and share it with the following parties:
- The Pokémon Company: any information you share while signing up for/playing Pokémon GO may be passed on to TPC. Niantic is not responsible for what TPC does with your information.
- Third parties: Niantic works with third party service providers to bring you Pokémon GO. Any information you share while playing the game can be passed on to these companies for research and analysis purposes.
- Other businesses: in the event that Niantic becomes involved in a business transations and/or gets acquired by another company, your information may be disclosed or transferred as part of the transaction.
- Legal authorities: Niantic may disclose the information it collects from you when legally required to for investigative purposes.
Can I opt out of sharing information in Pokémon GO?
If you want to enjoy all of the features of Pokémon GO, you’ll need to agree to share the information listed above.
However, you can make an information modification/deletion request or opt-out of sharing information on yourself or your authorized child by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is Pokémon GO safe to play?
Pokémon GO is a whole lot of fun and is ok to play if users remain vigilant. Even then, users must be conscious of the vast amounts of information being collected when they play the game.
For example, there have been incidents of players getting mugged by robbers pretending to offer rare Pokémon. These physical dangers are always a possibility when playing a game that collects and shares your location information.
With that in mind, avoid playing the game alone, always be weary of your surroundings, and consider using pseudonymous information for your game account. Don’t abandon common sense… even if there’s a Charizard right in front of you!
How to remove your Pokémon Go profile
Step 1: Access the Pokémon Go profile deletion request form on the official Pokémon Go support website.
Step 2: Fill out all questions and check all boxes marked with a red asterisk (*). These are mandatory questions on your account details.
Step 3: If you are deleting an account for someone who is under 13 years old, check the box under Select if you are submitting this request on behalf of a child who is under 13 years of age.
Step 4: Before submitting the form, check the box under Please verify that you are human. Don’t let a Pokémon delete your account for you!
Step 5: Hit Submit. Your profile deletion request will be filed and reviewed.
Do more to protect your Internet privacy
Now that you’re no longer on Pokémon Go, what else can you do to enhance your internet privacy? Here are some steps you can take.
- Use ExpressVPN. While “pausing” Google Web & App History prevents Google from collecting data about you, it doesn’t prevent your ISP from tracking what you’re doing online and potentially sharing it with corporations and governments. To hide your online activity from your ISP, use a VPN like ExpressVPN.
- Use Tor Browser. Tor hides your location and online activities from anybody doing network surveillance or traffic analysis, so your Internet activity is difficult to trace back to you. It’s one of your best bets for maintaining anonymity online. To maximize the effectiveness of Tor, be sure to read these tips: Want Tor to really work?
Safe browsing, everyone!
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