Pokémon GO’s Potential Security Flaw

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(WTNH) – Have you given into the Pokémon GO craze? It may be important for you to know that the app may have some security issues.

Yesterday, a principal architect at Red Owl Analytics, Adam Reeve, uncovered that the popular augmented reality game grants itself the highest possible level of access into your Google account. This means that the app can read your Gmail – and send email too – , access your location history from Google Maps, look into your Google Drive as well as private photos in Google Photos.Related Content: Pokemon GO: new craze for gamers

To sign up for Pokémon GO, you must use an existing account; whether that is your Google address or a Pokemon.com account. There is no option to create a new account if you don’t already have one of the two presented. Generally, when you install a new application on your device, there are pop-ups that ask you if you’d like to grant access to features like your camera or audio. Pokémon GO never had a pop-up that mentioned full account access or allowed users to edit or deny permissions.

Based on Adam Reeve’s findings, for iPhone/iOS users, there is no way to edit these permissions and you can only revoke access entirely at this time. On Android, the app doesn’t appear under Google Account Security.

The app developer, Niantic Labs, has responded with a statement:

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.

News 8 has investigated some of the common questions that app users now have..Do Other Apps Do This?

– Privacy policies and receiving permissions to collecting data from users is a priority for most app publishers.Related Content: Parents might want to be cautious about ‘Pokemon Go’Why Do Apps Need This Information?

– Most apps work alongside built-in features on your device so that they can actually work the way they’re intended to. A common ask from apps are basic settings on your actual device. For example, if you have Instagram, it would need access into your camera for photos and videos, microphone for audio in those videos, location for geo-tagging your photos.

– Some apps also use additional data in order to help improve their programs and functionality or to learn about their user base as well.How Do I Check App Permissions?

– If you’re an iOS user, head over to your ‘Settings’ and scroll down to each of your apps. When you click through, you’ll be able to see what the apps can access. The majority of the time it is your location, photos, camera. Some mapping apps do need to communicate with your motion and fitness to be able to work properly.Related Content: ‘Pokemon Go’ player finds unconscious womanHow Do I Check Apps Tied To My Google Account?

– Visit Google Security Settings to see apps on your device that are connected to your account.

If an app makes you uncomfortable with the level of access it has, you can always remove it.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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