Is there a problem with this Weyspot from the perspective of personal information protection?

Title of the Wayspot:  [Aeon Hometown Forest Creation Arbor Day commemorative sign 11]

Location: [Lat 35.174694/ Long 137.050244]

City: [NAGAKUTE city]

Country: [JAPAN]

Hello everyone.

This time, from the perspective of personal information protection, is it better to apply for deletion of this "plate with an individual's name written on it" as "unsuitable for Weyspot", or is it better to say "no problem"? I would like to hear your opinion.

Wayspot name: “Aeon Hometown Forest Creation Tree Planting Festival Commemorative Signboard 11”

Photo of Pokestop (Weyspot) (The individual's name is in the photo, so I will mask it)

real photo

The title of this plate is written in Japanese as ``Aeon Mall Nagakute'' and ``Aeon Hometown Forest Creation Tree Planting Festival No. 11''. Below that, the names of the individuals (those who participated in the tree-planting festival) are handwritten.

This also allows the individual's name to be completely known, so I edited it to make it invisible.

Dozens of these plates are installed around the stores of a large-scale commercial facility called AEON.As part of the environmental protection activities of a private company, a tree planting activity is held, and those who participate write their names in their own handwriting on a plaque, which is then displayed at that location.


(AEON tree planting commemorative plate)

The installation date is October 30, 2016. Those who participated in the Arbor Day Ceremony will of course agree that this plaque with their name written on it will be placed at this location and seen by passersby.

However, they probably do not agree with the idea of it being used as an item in the game and being distributed to the public as a gift in Pokemon GO.

In my opinion, this Weyspot should be deleted to protect personal information. But there may be another interpretation. I would like to hear your opinions.

very sorry. I'll add one more question.

This plate is numbered "NO.11". There are ``dozens'' of the same design spaced at intervals of 5 to 10 meters, and they are placed around a large-scale commercial facility called Aeon.Well, if you think of it as a trail marker, it might be reasonable, but the intervals between the plates are extremely close. Also, since No. 11 is not the only one special, I am confused as to whether it is suitable for Weyspot.

Personal information issues aside, how do you generally decide when there are many plates or trail markers of the same type that are very closely spaced?

(The building circled is "AEON". Weyspot is located on the northern perimete),137.049635,479m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=ja&entry=ttu

NO.11 is Wayspot.There is No. 10 a few meters to the right.

There are No.12 and No.13 across the parking lot entrance.,137.0502397,3a,75y,210.02h,89.66t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sHhiNvrhhM54TgPckAPIV0A!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=ja&entry=ttu

 Photos of each plate. You can see the numbering on the top right of the plate.




A plate of the same type that I applied for deletion in another case was numbered "NO.33".

Invalid Wayspot Appeals

 I tried requesting deletion from within the game. Below is a PDF of the results.

This has become a very long post. It's my bad habit to ask long questions. Please forgive me.

1. How Wayspot handles “personal information”

2. Regarding the treatment of "plates (or trail markers) of the same format and placed at short intervals,"

I would like to hear your opinions on these two items.Thank you.


  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 1,057 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1 - I can't see any problem with a list of names that are already in the public domain.

    2 - Providing they are accurately placed I don't see any issues.

  • WheelTrekker-INGWheelTrekker-ING Posts: 3,365 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If the problem are the names in the photo, add a new photo that doesn't show the names, but in no way should a Wayspot be removed for that reason.

  • miracleYanng-PGOmiracleYanng-PGO Posts: 83 ✭✭

    Faversham71-ING.Thank you for your prompt feedback.

    I think this case is a little different from "public domain" (a state where no intellectual property rights have occurred).We are concerned that there is a high possibility that this may be in violation of ``Personal Information Protection.''

    Reference materials

    "Japanese Government Public Relations Online"

    "Personal Information Protection Committee"

    「What kind of information is "personal information"?」

    Under the Personal Information Protection Act, "personal information" refers to information about a living individual, such as name, date of birth, address, facial photograph, etc., that can identify a specific individual.This includes information that can be easily matched with other information and thereby enable the identification of a specific individual.

    Niantic rejects any Weyspot (pictured) that has a readable vehicle license plate.I think this may have something to do with protecting personal information, but is it?Also, the possibility that the player's name is on this plate cannot be completely ruled out. I don't think there is a player's name on it. However, it is easy to "abuse" this case.


    Please see the attached photo.There is no way to take photos with no name displayed.To prevent the name from being photographed, more than 80% of the plate must be masked.In that case, it will become "just a wooden board."

    I have attached a photo with slightly different masking, so please take a look again.

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 1,057 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm not familiar with Japanese law, but it would strike me as odd that taking a photograph of a public sign would be seen as problematic.

  • miracleYanng-PGOmiracleYanng-PGO Posts: 83 ✭✭


    I didn't know the official laws of any country other than Japan, so I looked into it. Although similar laws exist in the EU, China, and Southeast Asian countries, we found that they have not been enacted in the United States. It has not been enacted as a federal law in the United States; instead, some states have similar state laws.

    Therefore, I will consider this based on the EU's GDPR.

    1.What information can we get from the name of the person on this sign? (I cannot explain in detail) Do you notice that there are five kanji ``SAKA'' (坂)lined up from the top to the left of the masked area in the upper left?This is part of the "family name" in Japan. In other words, there are 5 people with the same last name.Even I can glean two more pieces of information from here. This is "personal information".

    2.Niantic is running a game in Pokemon Go where you can get "gifts" by spinning Pokestops (Weyspots).he gift you can receive from this Pokestop (Weyspot) is a "postcard that uses the Weyspot photo as it is."Players can send this gift to their friends. Also, recently, a feature called "Route" has become available that allows you to randomly send messages to players around the world who are not your friends.This "gift function" allows this photo information to be spread all over the world.

    If you take photos and keep them for yourself, there will be no problem. However, the problem is that this photo can be used as a gift and spread not only in Japan but all over the world. Did you understand?

    “It seems strange that taking pictures of public billboards would be considered a problem.”

    For me, the fact that there are people who have applied for Weyspot like this, and even approved it, is beyond strange and surprising to me.Also, plates are not "public" (municipal) property. This is an object created by a private company called AEON and installed on the premises of a shopping center run by it. In other words, it's just private property on private land.

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 1,057 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A name alone wouldn't cause problems under GDPR

  • CountKnick-PGOCountKnick-PGO Posts: 29 ✭✭

    In Europe. If something is in the public domain then GDPR is not applicable. Only if something is shot indoors normally in a private setting. (Something inside someone's own home or a party like a wedding for example where permission has not been sought or obtain to share image, recordings, conversations.....etc.) If something like this is in a prominent position in the public domain, generally (but I don't know the situation in this case) the people who's names are on the plaque have given their express permission for them to be there in the 1st place. The only issue I would be wary of is, you stated it is their own hand writing, this could be dangerous if it is a signature as it could be used for fraudulent purposes. Other than that I would believe it to be ok. Just my opinion obviously but I hope it helps.

  • flatmatt-PGOflatmatt-PGO Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I just want to drop in and comment that Wayfarer users can only really give their thoughts based on the guidelines Niantic gives them. If there is an actual legal reason that something should not be allowed in-game, then it's up to Niantic and their lawyers to make that determination, take action, and update the Wayfarer guidelines (if necessary).

  • miracleYanng-PGOmiracleYanng-PGO Posts: 83 ✭✭

    Hello everyone.

    Faversham71-ING CountKnick-PGO  flatmatt-PGO thanks for your opinion

    I wanted to exchange opinions on this forum because I wanted to confirm that what I consider "common sense" may be different for "other people." Therefore, I have no intention of getting into a legal debate here.

    Even though this plate has a handwritten name written on it, it is certainly in a position where the unspecified number of people can see it. I understand your opinion that if it is installed in such a location, it does not violate personal information protection or privacy protection.

    However, I would appreciate it if everyone could understand that this is only a matter of ``now'' and that there is a high possibility that things will change in the ``future.''

    I'm not criticizing Pokemon Go's "gift feature". On the contrary, they don't want to be criticized by society.

    I go around the route every day to rehabilitate my legs. You will meet the game character ``MATEO'' and have him exchange ``Weyspot gifts near you'' with ``Weyspot gifts from around the world.''I can get photos of rare Weyspots in faraway countries that I can't go to. What a great game system. It is no exaggeration to say that for me, it is now at the center of Pokemon GO activities.

    I would be very sad if, by any chance, this route function were to be criticized by the general public as violating privacy protection, and I would like to prevent such a situation at all costs.hen I saw this plate, I wondered if something like this could happen if this Weyspot photo spread. That's what I thought and asked for everyone's opinions.

    Do you understand why I was so intrigued by this "plate with my handwritten name written on it"?We believe that if the standards for this case were clarified, there would be no problem from the perspective of personal information protection and privacy protection.

    Now, in addition to the "privacy protection issue", there are other issues with this plate that are not clear at all. (For example, since it is just inserted into the soil, it can be pulled out immediately.)

    However, I will close this thread for now.If necessary, I will create another thread. thank you very much.

Sign In or Register to comment.