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UPDATED: Full Access Granted to Personal Google Accounts

Posted by Suzie Ford on Jul 11, 2016  | Comments

UPDATED: Full Access Granted to Personal Google Accounts - Pokemon Go - MMORPG.com

UPDATE: Via Eurogamer

"We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account," The Pokémon Company and Niantic explained in a joint statement.

"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."

According to Adam Reeve via Tumblr and verified by our own Rob Lashley and Bill Murphy, Niantic Labs' Pokemon Go has a rather large security issue going: When logging in to play using Google, the app is granted full access to all of Google's connected features including Gmail, Google Drive and the rest.

Reports seem to indicate that this issue is more widespread on iOS devices, and even then not on all of them, but is also present, though in a very small number of known cases, on Android devices as well. 

There is no way to turn off certain aspects of access to Google's features. It is, as Bill noted, "all or nothing". 

Let me be clear - Pokemon Go and Niantic can now:

  • Read all your email
  • Send email as you
  • Access all your Google drive documents (including deleting them)
  • Look at your search history and your Maps navigation history
  • Access any private photos you may store in Google Photos
  • And a whole lot more

Those who were lucky enough to have created an account via the Pokemon Go site (though now unavailable), do not have full access automatically granted for playing the game.

At this time, the only way to ensure your private data is held secure is to make a 'trainer' account. You can also log into your Google account to see what permissions are granted. However, revoking permissions seems to only last until the next time the Google account is accessed when Pokemon Go is re-authorized.

We'll keep you posted as the story develops and, hopefully, as better security measures are put into place by Niantic.

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Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom