Al Franken is anxious about Pokemon Go players' privacy
Jul 13 2016
Niantic has finally released an update for their mind-bogglingly popular mobile game, Pokémon Go, and the entire world can breathe a sigh of relief.
For some users with iPhones, signing into the game with the most convenient option - using your Google account - allows the gaming company to read your emails.
Unfortunately, it's not going to yield any positive results.
Android users will have to wait for their update, as Niantic Labs has not given an official date of the game's global release.
Players of the hit augmented reality mobile version of the franchise using iOS were concerned because they found out their version of the game wanted to have full access of the data in their Google accounts. "I believe Americans have a fundamental right to privacy, and that right includes an individual's access to information, as well as the ability to make meaningful choices, about what data are being collected about them and how the data are being used".
"From a user's general profile information to their precise location data and device identifiers, Niantic has access to a significant amount of information, unless users - many of whom are children - opt-out of this collection", he wrote.
Adam Reeve, a computer security expert at the cybersecurity firm RedOwl, was the first to discover this.
Google settings even warn users against granting this degree of trust on its settings page: "This "full account access" privilege should only be granted to applications you fully trust". The senator wants to know more about how the app collects and shares user data after it is downloaded onto a phone.
The update appears to address those concerns, as Niantic had said it was working on a client-side fix to "request permission for only basic Google account information".