There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle recently, as it transpires that Pokemon GO on iOS gives The Pokémon Company and developer Niantic full access to your Google Account.
Basically, signing into the popular app with your Google account grants access to a shit ton of stuff, including viewing and sending email, seeing what you’ve been watching on YouTube, and accessing your contacts.
However, both companies have now come forward and said that this near unrestricted access to your private goods was a mistake.
The Pokémon Company and Niantic explained in a joint statement:
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.
Good news, although it’s concerning that neither company was aware of what could be considered a pretty massive issue in the first place.
As you’d expect, a fix is being worked on:
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.
The launch of Pokemon GO has been insanely popular, but it hasn’t exactly gone smoothly. It’s still not out in Europe, and armed robbers have even managed to use the game to lure players to specific spots for robberies.
Still, we’ve had our share of incredible Pokemon GO related stories too – my personal favourite so far is the girls who kayaked out to sea to battle a gym.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.