Nintendo

Pokemon Go Asks For 'Full Access' To Your Google Account

Pokemon Go Asks For 'Full Access' To Your Google Account
Image credit: Nintendo
Contributing Writer
3 min read
This story originally appeared on Business Insider

People who sign up for Pokémon Go to catch them all could end up giving all their personal data away. 

The hit game asks for a surprising amount of permission to access users' Google accounts, the internet discovered on Monday. Redowl engineer Adam Reeve has the best writeup on his blog

Basically, if you log into Pokemon Go through your Google account on an iPhone -- which is the first option provided -- it gives "full access" to your account. According to Google's help page, that should only be "granted to applications you fully trust."

I went through my Google permissions and found that I had unwittingly given Pokemon Go permission to my entire account -- and I'm pretty sure I never agreed to do anything like that. That's the same level of permission that I give to Google Chrome, my browser. 

Image credit: Google | BI

Niantic provided the following statement to Recode

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. 

The Pokemon Go privacy policy says that Niantic may collect users' IP address, email address and other personal information.  

Here's what Google has to say about "full access:"

When you grant full account access, the application can see and modify nearly all information in your Google Account (but it can’t change your password, delete your account,or pay with Google Wallet on your behalf).

Certain Google applications may be listed under full account access. For example, you might see that the Google Maps application you downloaded for your iPhone has full account access.

Reeve writes

Now, I obviously don’t think Niantic are planning some global personal information heist. This is probably just the result of epic carelessness. But I don’t know anything about Niantic’s security policies. I don’t know how well they will guard this awesome new power they’ve granted themselves, and frankly I don’t trust them at all.

On Android, many users are reporting that they can play Pokémon Go without giving the company full access to their Google accounts. 

Niantic used to be part of Google before it was spun off last year, so its developers likely know how Google's authentication works. If this is an oversight or a bug, you can expect it to be changed soon -- so you won't need to hand over access to your mail and photos to catch some pocket monsters. 

 

More from Entrepreneur

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Nintendo Profits Increase 505 Percent Thanks to Switch