Recently it was discovered by users of the popular app Pokémon Go on iOS that the game requests full access to you Google account. Multiple websites such as Kotaku and Popsci have covered these news already. The guys here at Gravis Ludus decided to investigate these rumors and actually managed to find some very interesting details. What a lot of people have been unaware of is that Niantic and Nintendo do not want your information.
Yes, recently Niantic released the following 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.
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.
It appears that the request for full information was made erroneously when uploading into the iOS market store. In fact they (Niantic) do not want full access to your account except for the basic information required to play. This news has spread like wildfire and it no doubt has caused many players to uninstall the app on their Iphones. But, don’t panic just yet, it was a simple mistake probably made during the rush to get the game out in the market.
Worst yet, is the people speculating that these companies want to access your information and send emails as your person (which wouldn’t that be considered illegal in spite of the permissions?). This means that you can keep enjoying your quest to become a Pokémon Master with the peace of mind provided by the knowledge that your private information is safe.
However, if you still have your doubts, then don’t install the app for the moment. Certainly Niantic will release an update patch, or update the conditions necessary to download and play the app in the apple market. At least know that Pokémon Go is not trying to impersonate you… for now.