Being Safe on the Go

on July 28, 2016
By now you or someone you know has been swept up in the Pokemon Go craze. Pokemon Go heralds technology known as augmented reality, where one’s external environment is superimposed by layers of computer generated data. The kind of gameplaying Pokemon Go represents is revolutionary and intimates at a technological future of incredible sophistication. Decades ago, the pioneering visionary Gordon Moore successfully predicted many of the technologies we enjoy today, including personal computers, mobile phones and self driving vehicles. Moore is also and more widely known for the maxim that bears his name. “Moore’s Law” states that every couple of years as our computer processing capacity grows exponentially, new and more intricate technology is possible. Our technology progress and prowess, since Moore’s time, has remained unabated. But as technology continues to pervade our world, becoming virtually seamless with our everyday lives, issues involving privacy and safety is more relevant than ever. Pokemon Go has brought this to light.

As all of you probably already know, the goal of the game is to seek out, find and collect characters. Players designate certain locations encouraging other players to convene. Locations are designated and players convene in search. These designated areas may be either public or private. Players, in their quest to find more and more characters, are compelled to search out through the outside. Ramifications and the inherent risks of such features are readily apparent. People have trespassed onto private property, drifted into oncoming traffic, and become trapped in trees. On July 17th, a Florida man opened fire on teenagers who had congregated outside his home at an unseemly hour. A more unnerving issue is the game’s “luring” feature. In designating places and areas, people are able to “lure” players. Would be thieves have exploited P okemon Go to commit crimes. Recently in Missouri a group of armed robbers lured eight people to designated locations. Also, sex offenders including child molesters have lured children. One man did so directly outside a courthouse.

In future articles I will explore more fully this and other related issues surrounding Pokemon Go. But for now, while we, our children and our loved ones have fun we can take immediate safety measures. First, parents should become knowledgeable of the game, downloading requirements and the potential dangers that exist. Another prudent step is to share this information with others, with your friends on Facebook, and all your family members. And talk with your children, discuss the dangers, make them informed and mindful. Perhaps making their gaming experience into an exercise and accompany them on their expeditions around the neighborhood. Some parents have opted to take turns escorting groups of children. “Playgroups” are a safer way for children to explore their environment while playing the game. Some safety experts have suggested establishing certain times when children are to play, implementing boundaries and other small restrictions that assure for their safety while refraining from compromising their entertainment. Certain police personnel have recommended checking for sexual offenders registered in and around your neighborhood, sharing this information with other parents, and making sure your child does not convene at their residence or in the vicinity, nor to ever share information with a stranger. Taking such measures help to make our children retain a sense of safety, a necessary degree of vigilance. As security expert Adam Reeve has said, Pokemon Go, other such games, and augmented reality technology as a whole is not a short lived trend and will not fade. Our aim should be making sure our children and loved ones are safe. And we can do this by helping them understand and sharing information needed for their continual safety. In time, I believe, the legal community and law enforcement will strive and succeed in eliminating or restricting all the risks and dangers discussed above. Our own efforts in becoming conversant will act to compel these issues to become more quickly remedied. Please like this article and share this information with others. And should you, a friend or your loved ones wish to discuss any of these matters or any other legal issues please give me a call at 215­-356-­8033. You may also visit my website at w or my Facebook Business Page.

Very kindly,

Pasquale Bianculli

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