News

UPDATED: Oh damn, Pokémon Go has a SERIOUS privacy flaw

Catching them all, while they steal all your details.

By Amber Manto

UPDATE: 13.07.2016

After news went viral yesterday that Pokémon Go had a scary amount of access to your personal details (see below), it turns out the dude who made the claims actually got it all wrong.

Doh.

Former Tumblr engineer, Adam Reeve, who pointed out the supposed privacy flaw confirmed to Gizmodo writer William Turton that he “had never built an application that uses Google account permissions, and had never tested the claims he makes in the post."

Ninantic then released this 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.”

So that’s that then. As you were, nerds.

ORIGINAL STORY: 12.07.2016

Your obsession with running around all over town trying to catch Pikachus and Jigglypuffs might be fun and all, but there could be a very serious downside to this addictive game and we’re not talking about the excessive data consumption.

It has to do with the privacy policy, y’know the one you probably accepted without reading. Basically Tumblr user Adam Reeve has read through the fine print and discovered that by clicking “yes” the developers of this game, Niantic, are allowed to collect your email address, IP address, the web page you were using before logging into Pokémon Go, your username, and obvs your location.

If you think THAT'S scary wait til you hear this: if you use your Google account to sign in and have an iPhone (this doesn't affect Android users), Niantic is given access to your entire Google account; emails, Google Drive doc, pictures – EVERYTHING. In other words if they wanted to, and had the time, they could theoretically write emails from your account, or delete important files. Obvs they probs won’t do this cause they're a big powerful company and all who have better things to do but still, it’s a problem.

Niantic has realised this ain’t cool and released a statement to Polygon basically saying they don’t want this info, they never wanted this info and so are working on a fix as we write this.

In other words, you don’t have to do anything as this will be sorted shortly, so stop worrying and get out there and go catch some Pokémon!