Wizards Unite Is Tracking User Locations While Not In Use

Wizards Unite

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is an augmented reality mobile game created by Niantic and WB Games San Francisco. The game is based on the world of Harry Potter created by the author, J.K. Rowling. Rowling is not involved in the development of this game at all.

In Wizards Unite, players fight against mythical beasts from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Players can also choose their wand, profession, and house (Hufflepuff Forever!). The game is similar to Pokemon Go! in that players use their smartphones in addition to the real world to find items and creatures. There are inns to stop at, as well as greenhouses and fortresses.

Niantic collects quite a bit of data, which is not surprising to users. However, it seems the company is collecting location data even when players are not using the app. Kotaku released details of a lengthy investigation into the game. According to Kotaku’s investigation, Niantic tracked an average of three locations per minute of gameplay.

Of the 25,000 locations records Kotaku analyzed, one of the players had one location record taken every hour of the day. This could mean that Niantic is collected data while users sleep and the app is not in use. Niantic told Kotaku that it was all due to a bug in the Android version of the app. The bug has apparently been fixed, but players still need to be aware of how much data they share and how often.

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