The Pokemon Go obsession resulted in privacy rumors that provoked hysteria among users. A blog post published an article accusing Niantic Labs and Nintendo of illegally getting access to Google accounts.
It seems that the app had an issue with permissions’ implementation on iPhones. The developer fixed the problems immediately.
However, the rumors continued, and spirits rose in a privacy panic. For a whole week, the scared users started to uninstall the app, not knowing what exactly could leak online from their private data.
The Pokemon Go Experience
Pokemon Go met an incredible success. The game involves a treasure hunt that is orientated by GPS data and uses the smartphone camera. People are moving out in the world looking for Pokemons and are forced to interact with one another. The whole experience proved to be immensely entertaining in the US.
The stories around the treasure hunts are way more interesting than the game in itself. People started to have real-life adventures while looking for Pokemons in churches, gay bars, police stations and courthouses. The social media presented the case of an individual who found a dead body, while another one that managed to get robbed.
The whole affair made police issue safety guidelines for Pokemon Go players. However, the game has proven to have even mental health benefits, making people explore their environment and seek adventures. Since its release, the game brought $11 billion to Nintendo.
The Rumors and the Fix
The Gmail access requested by the app meant that Niantic could get information such as email address and a phone number. The issue proved to be only a mistake on the part of Google and Niantic and not an actual privacy error. Moreover, the information had never been used maliciously.
By a mere coincidence, the lack of availability of the signup process was unavailable during last week. The explanation is that the Pokemon servers did not manage the incredible activity of the increasing number of users.
Other apps have similar privacy issues. For example, Runkeeper records the location even after the app is turned off. Facebook was accused of tracking the users’ location and matching them with other profiles of people in the vicinity.
The experts recommend being careful when offering access to social media profiles. Social login permissions can provide third party companies with personal data, and they are tough to control.
Pokemon Go privacy issue was in fact not a problem at all. The access permissions were negotiated between Nintendo and Google beforehand, and the information needed by the app was restricted to basic personal details such as phone numbers and email addresses.
The malfunction of the app was observed only on iPhones, and the bug was fixed in no time. The rest of the discussion is just a matter of rumors and induced mass hysteria.
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