Is it against TOS to publish whole/part of Damage Report-email in Telegram-group?

Hi all

I've been told that the other team in my area are publishing whole or part of the Damage Reports-email they get from Niantic in a private Telegram-group so that they can synchronize defense.

I'm wondering if this is against TOS or not (please note: I'm not accusing anyone of cheating).

Not sure exactly how they do it (maby it is irrelevant?) but there seems to be a official bot that publish the whole emails on Telegram:

TOS say it is not ok to:

  • collect, store or share any personally identifiable information of other users from the Services without their express permission;
  • extract, scrape, or index the Services or Content (including information about users or gameplay);

What I don't understand if emails are included in this definition. Damage Report-emails have information about users and gameplay. But these emails are not on Niantic servers. Emails clearly belong to the receiver and are automatically indexed and searchable in most email clients. I'm guessing this is not against the TOS.

Also, maby the other team strips all content except the portal names - so that only the portal names are published on Telegram. Would that matter?

Thanks for any input you can give me in this matter.



  • HydraulinskiHydraulinski ✭✭✭✭✭

    If done by bot: yes. But if they're just sharing it "by mouth" in theirs groups, not.

  • GoblinGranateGoblinGranate ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 25

    Problem is that Niantic is sharing almost in real time your location with all other players, not only by mail but via COMM actions aswell.

    What is being violated here is your privacy, but what can you do about that? This is how celebrities live, no privacy at all, so congratulations, you are a celebrity :D

    Demand your money!

    About the names stripping, it was discussed some time ago in this thread, take a look.

  • MakamaroMakamaro ✭✭

    Can you elaborate? I can not find anything about this in the TOS.

  • KhatreKhatre ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 27
  • MirthmakerMirthmaker ✭✭✭

    Patterns. You are assessing play patterns of agents. Legit or spoof, Times particular agents take your board. This is a "Numb3rs" ( American TV show from about ten years ago) exercise that you assess threats with.

  • MakamaroMakamaro ✭✭

    Just to be clear. If no data is stored except Portal name (that is posted in Telegram group), it is still a violation of TOS?

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    How so?

    A telegram bot is in no way controlled or controllable by Niantic.

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    What is being violated here is your privacy, but what can you do about that?

    Well... for one, you agreed to it, and knowingly continue playing. It's not a violation of your privacy if they're completely up front about it and you continue to agree to that by playing.

  • GoblinGranateGoblinGranate ✭✭✭✭

    Still a problem, nevertheless. Also, not sure if I agreed to share my data with everybody, I'd say I did just with Niantic.

  • GoblinGranateGoblinGranate ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 30

    I stand corrected then.

    But yet, I still see no solution to this problem, even worse, is even more difficult to come up with a possible solution since any of the ToS are violated, neither are individual rights of privacy.

    I guess that, in this cases, local authorities should be queried about. Because players who do this just don't care about anything else than "winning". A moral matter you might say.

    But then again, it is part of the game magic. Perhaps, the only magic left after all this years.

  • PerringaidenPerringaiden ✭✭✭✭✭

    There is a simple solution. Disable email notifications completely.

    Unlike device notifications which are part of the App and therefore in Niantic's control, email notifications by their nature, are Niantic losing control of the information that they share to other players.

  • MakamaroMakamaro ✭✭

    Is there any word from Niantic about this matter? I would like to know what is Ok and what is not Ok to do with these emails.

    For example: I guess reading them in Gmail is OK even though Gmail makes them indexable and searchable. Is it Ok to forward these email to someone else? Is it Ok to forward them to someone else if all information about agents are removed, and only portal name is included?

  • FurdeconFurdecon ✭✭

    I would say the closest thing to a TOS violation would be the clause you didn't include.

    Indexing the info contained in an email would not be a violation. The email is not part of Niantic's app, services or platform ("Service" is clearly defined at start of TOS). Once that email is sent, Niantic would be in a sense waiving any rights to that data and control over it - end user is free to process the data to hearts content. In addition, the TOS clearly gives you the right to use it for personal use.

    That being said, a few lines down in the list of things you can't do is this:

    "post, publish, submit or transmit any Content that infringes, misappropriates, or violates a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights, or other intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy;"

    The definition for "Content" includes communications and information generated by or through the Services.

    I used to be a game master for an mmorpg, enforcing TOS was part of my job - in my experience, that is the clause I would use as an argument against using a bot to post damage emails, or even manually, assuming the data contained in email would violate the part about rights of privacy.

    That would be the other question to answer: Does the data raise to level of personal information and thus a violation of privacy? Whole other topic, and would depend on the laws of what ever jurisdiction you are in. I personally would never consider my gamertag private.

    But to be safe if the parsed data just generically said "Agent is at portal xyz" or "Agent attacked portal yzk" with no name, then that seems to me would be away around the rights of privacy issue - no one would know what agent specifically until they looked at intel or ingame communication.

    In practicality, it doesn't matter. How do you prove who is doing it? Especially if it is automated and the data is parsed and stripped of unneeded information - such as who the email was sent to. Unless some one slips up and admits to it, it is kind of unenforceable.

    Any ways, just my take. In the end it is still up to how Niantic wants to interpret or enforce the TOS.

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