Pokemon Go rule protects children from predators

Posted at 11:14 AM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-01 11:14:25-04

Governor Cuomo is restricting sex offenders on parole from playing Pokemon Go.

Cuomo directed the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to restrict sex offenders from using games like Pokemon Go to help keep children safe. He also sent a letter to Niantic, Inc., the company that created the game, asking for their help in stopping dangerous sex offenders from playing the game.

"Protecting New York's children is priority number one and, as technology evolves, we must ensure these advances don't become new avenues for dangerous predators to prey on new victims," Governor Cuomo said.

A new parole condition has been added that will not allow sex offenders to download, access, or engage in any Internet enabled gaming activities, including Pokemon Go. This applies to almost 3,000 Level 1, 2, and 3 sex offenders currently on parole.

Cuomo has also advised the Department of Criminal Justice Services to make sure Niantic, Inc. has the most up-to-date information of offenders within the Sex Offender Registry.

DCJS will also contact Apple and Google about these public safety concerns. Cuomo wants all software developers that operate games like Pokemon Go to have access to this information.

These precautions are being put in place after a recent report by Senators Jeffrey Klein and Diane Savino show that children playing Pokemon Go have unknowingly been steered to locations in close proximity to, or even at, sex offender residences.

Officials are also worried that purchasing a "lure" through the game has the potential to be abused by predators. This is a feature that can be bought for a small fee to intentionally encourage gamers to go to a particular location.