SIA Health Care Group Cites Concerns with Pokémon GO

Game poses challenges for hospitals, says Security Industry Association

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Security Industry Association (SIA) Health Care Security Interest Group has concerns about the potential negative impact that Pokémon GO could have on hospital security.

Pokémon GO was released in the United States by Niantic on July 6 for iOS and Android devices, and it has quickly become one of the most popular apps in history. Unlike most smartphone games, Pokémon GO requires players to move around the “real world” while interacting with images on their screens.

The gameplay sometimes leads players into hospitals, which creates several security concerns:

  • An influx of people who have no legitimate reason to be in the facility increases the demands on hospital security personnel and could divert them from other, more important matters.
  • The gameplay also could lead players to enter sensitive, nonpublic areas of the hospital.
  • Players, who are distracted by the game while walking through a hospital, could cause an accident, damage equipment, injure others, or themselves or otherwise interfere with the life-saving work being done at the facility.
  • Pokémon GO involves the use of smartphone cameras, which could lead to problems related to HIPAA regulations and privacy laws.

The SIA Health Care Security Interest Group urges Niantic to release an update that excludes hospitals and other health care facilities from Pokémon GO gameplay.

About the Security Industry Association (SIA)

The Security Industry Association (SIA) ( is the leading trade association for electronic and physical security solution providers, with more than 650 innovative member companies representing more than 400,000 security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities; and collaboration with other like-minded organizations. As a proud sponsor of ISC Events expos and conferences, and owner of the Securing New Ground® conference, SIA ensures its members have access to top-level buyers and influencers, as well as unparalleled learning and network opportunities.​