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Playing Pokemon GO? You have 30 days to opt out before your legal rights are gone

Nutshell:

Pokemon GO’s Terms of Service include clauses which, if not opted-out of, will mean that any legal disputes players want to raise against Niantic (makers of the game) will be settled in an arbitration court, which has more favorable outcomes for companies generally.

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No one reads user agreements, and companies know this. There is, however, a way to opt out (via BoingBoing). You just need to send an email with the following text to t[email protected] with the subject line “Arbitration Opt-out Process“.

The Pokémon Go Terms of Service, as published by developer Niantic Labs, include a restrictive forced arbitration clause that both takes away the user’s right to file a lawsuit against Niantic, but also bars the user from joining others in any sort of class action against the company.

Instead, all legal disputes must be heard — on an individual basis — through private arbitration outside of a courtroom. Each user must mount their own case, even if all of the plaintiff users were wronged in the same exact way by the company.

So, imagine if there’s a huge data breach that results in the leaking of personal information for millions of Go users. Rather than have to answer for the totality of the error, the company would only have to face those few users who take the time — and have the resources — to bring a case before an arbitrator.

You have 30 days from accepting the ToS to send this email before your lack of objection is taken as tacit agreement to the terms.

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