Pokemon Go: Developers promise to address issue of Google account security risk

By: | Updated: July 12, 2016 2:33 PM

Niantic, the developer behind the currently famous phone game Pokemon Go, has responded to a wave of balcklash over a potential security flaw in the application.

Pokemon go, pokemon go game, pokemon go security, pokemon security risk, nintendo, nintendo, nintendo pokemon, nintendo news, nintendo pokemon go, nintendo pokeman games, nintendo market value, Nintendo Co japan, japan share news, pokemon new game, android devices, pokemon game charactersTo play Pokemon Go, the mobile game released on July 6, players have two options when logging into the app. Either they can create an account with Pokemon Trainer Club or sign in using their Google accounts. (Pic: Reuters)

Niantic, the developer behind the currently famous phone game Pokemon Go, has responded to a wave of balcklash over a potential security flaw in the application.

To play Pokemon Go, the mobile game released on July 6, players have two options when logging into the app. Either they can create an account with Pokemon Trainer Club or sign in using their Google accounts.

However, by choosing the latter, as it is easier, players are granting the game full access to their Google accounts, according to Adam Reeve, the principal architect at the cybersecurity analytics firm RedOwl.

In an interview with Gizmodo, Reeve said he isn’t “100 percent sure” that Pokemon Go can read users’ emails.

According to Google’s support page, users should only grant full access to applications they “fully trust” because that setting lets apps “see and modify nearly all information in your Google account.”

Niantic the game developer(interestingly a spinoff of Google) had “no need” for full access according to Reeve.

He has since deleted the game from his phone and revoked the game’s access to his Google account.

“I really wish I could play, it looks like great fun, but there’s no way it’s worth the risk,” Reeve wrote.

Niantic and the Pokemon Company, on July 11 said, that they erroneously asked for more permissions than intended.

They said in a statement that the game accessed only user IDs and email addresses of players, “and no other Google account information is or has been accessed or collected.”

The companies also said, “Google has verified that no other information has been received or accessed by Pokemon Go or Niantic.”

Niantic said it had already started working on fixing the issue, and Google will automatically downgrade the permissions

“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 statement given to The Verge read.

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