As technology advances and gives folks new ways to interact, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo feels steps need to be taken in order to keep potentially dangerous individuals from taking advantage of unintended opportunities. In specific, Cuomo has asked that sex offenders not be able to play Pokemon Go.
In a letter to Pokemon Go developer Niantic, Governor Cuomo has asked that steps be taken to keep sex offenders from playing the wildly popular mobile game. We heard reports early on of individuals using Pokemon Go to lure in victims for a robbery. Cuomo's concern is that similar tactics could be used by sex offenders to lure in younger Pokemon Go players.
In his letter to Niantic, Cuomo asks for a partnership between New York and the developer in order to help keep folks safe.
Protecting our children and ensuring their safety is our top priority, and the State of New York is moving swiftly to respond to troubling news that young children using Pokemon Go are being steered to locations in close proximity to, or even at, sex offender residences. The State has taken action to prohibit sex offenders from using this game, but we need your assistance to make certain that sex offenders will not continue to use Pokemon Go by technologically barring their use.
That seems like a pretty tall order to fill for Pokemon Go, especially since it's basically the most popular app in the country's history. However, it seems like measures are already in place that could make this a lot less stressful a project to undertake.
As Mayor Cuomo points out, New York has laws in place that require sex offenders to keep up-to-date info on email accounts, screen names and any other identifiers they may use. Cuomo has supplied that list to Niantic, so it seems like the only remaining step would be to plug those email addresses in and ban any accounts that match.
If all 50 states were to take similar measures, it stands to reason that Niantic could, at the very least, cut way back on the number of sex offenders trying to play Pokemon Go. The fear is that folks would use the game's PokeStops to either hang out where kids will frequent or, putting down an in-game Lure, actually draw more youngsters to a desired location.
What we like most about this news is that Cuomo isn't speaking out against Pokemon Go, Niantic or claiming that either is responsible for "putting our children in danger." Instead, he's offering actionable measures and full support to keep unsavory types from playing the game. Rather than point a finger at Pokemon Go, he understands that it's the action of individuals that could be a potential concern and taking measures against them rather than the game.