Pokemon Go users explore Heartland, breaking 'real world' laws

Pokemon Go users explore Heartland, breaking 'real world' laws
(Source: Cape Girardeau Police)
(Source: Cape Girardeau Police)

(KFVS) - Chances are good you heard someone saying "Gotcha!" over the weekend.

It is likely because they are playing Pokemon Go.

The app took America by storm, with people getting up and out to explore in hopes of capturing Pokemon like Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise and Pikachu.

Seriously, it is the top free app on iTunes and GooglePlay.

The obsession is real and can be backed up by proof, according to new data released by SimilarWeb.

It reports by July 7, Pokemon Go was already installed on more US Android phones than Tinder.

Not only that, but the game is about to surpass Twitter in daily active users.

Places like universities are becoming "Pokemon friendly."

But there are some things you need to know about the app.

1. You might land in Poke-jail

The app can lead you to places you are not legally allowed to be.

According to the Miner Police Department, officers have found people playing this game in private citizens' yards, in business parking lots and properties, and in restricted areas around city buildings.

The Murphysboro Police Department also issued a warning on trespassing.

The problem: that is illegal.

In fact, a Pokemon Gym is located at the Miner police station, since it is so close to the water tower.

In a Facebook post online the Miner Police Department wrote, "... this does not give anyone the authority to continue onto the property past the signs which strictly forbid unauthorized access. To be completely clear, there is no unauthorized entry to the property beyond the front edge of the police department."

Bottom line: you can catch them all but it can't be used as a get out of jail free card.

"Please be courteous to others and their property," the Miner Police Department wrote. "While this game may be fun and innocent, it does not give anyone a free pass to violate the law."

Cape Girardeau Police is also warning safety first.

2. If your GPS is on, your location is being used.

Pokemon Go is a location based game.

That means if you accept the privacy terms, the app will collect and store information about you or your child's location when you use the app.

We collect and store information about your (or your authorized child's) location when you (or your authorized child) use our App and take game actions that use the location services made available through your (or your authorized child's) device's mobile operating system...

The thing you need to realize, your location will be known and even used to improve the app.

For example, when you take certain actions during gameplay, your (or your authorized child's) user name and location may be shared through the App with other users who are playing the game. We may also use location information to improve and personalize our Services for you (or your authorized child).

3. Your phone bill could go through the roof

You will want to make sure your cell phone service provider notifies you if you are getting close to using all of your data.

According to Velosity Electronics, if your GPS and camera are being used there is no doubt your data will be gone in no time.

The key: make sure you actually close out of the app, so it isn't running in the background.

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