People Are Freaking Out That ‘Pokémon Go’ Is Secretly Accessing All Our Google Info
The wildly popular game’s makers have issued a response to all the hysteria.
Yes, it seems odd that Pokémon GO would need to access all your Google info, including emails, photos and docs stored in the cloud.
After all, it’s just an innocuous (albeit immensely popular) smartphone game that combines augmented reality with GPS technology to collect and battle with animated characters found in the real world…right?
Well, players on the iOS platform who chose to log into the game using their Google account info have been greeted with a permission screen that “erroneously” asked for access to all that stuff. That’s according to the game’s makers, Niantic Labs, which (try not to strap on your conspiracy theory hats too tight) spun out from the Google/Alphabet conglomerate last year.
Here’s Niantic’s official statement on the matter:
We recently discovered that the Pokémon GO account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user’s Google account. However, Pokémon GO only accesses basic Google profile information (specifically, your User ID and email address) and no other Google account information is or has been accessed or collected. Once we became aware of this error, we began working on a client-side fix to request permission for only basic Google profile information, in line with the data that we actually access. Google has verified that no other information has been received or accessed by Pokémon GO or Niantic. Google will soon reduce Pokémon GO’s permission to only the basic profile data that Pokémon GO needs, and users do not need to take any actions themselves.
So there you have it. You can go back to playing with your Poké balls, waiting on tenterhooks to find out the very instant the Pokémon GO Plus device comes out, giving you a slight edge in this addictive, social and distracting pandemic of a video game.