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Pokémon Go privacy scare: Developers fix full access Google account error

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The Pokémon Company International

Despite an app error that seemed to suggest Pokémon Go had been granted “full access” to users’ Google accounts, the game isn’t capturing all of your personal information during your quest to catch ‘em all.

Niantic Labs, developer of the massively popular game, has promised to fix the error, which previously informed iOS users who signed up to play the game using their Google accounts that the app had total access to their personal information.

In a statement obtained by BBC News, Niantic Labs said the only information it logged contained user IDs and email addresses.

“We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user’s Google account,” Niantic Labs said in 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.”

The firm continued: “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.”

Pokémon Go, released July 6, uses an in-game GPS to augment players’ reality as they navigate a digital map based on their geographical location. In order to move their avatar in the game, players must venture outside, where they can use their mobile device’s camera to view images of Pokémon superimposed over their immediate surroundings, making it appear as if the fantastical creatures inhabited the real world.

In addition to multiple reports of game-based injuries, Pokémon Go, which prompts users to meet up with other Pokémon trainers in their area, has also reportedly been used by robbers to trap victims by luring them into secluded areas. A young woman also stumbled upon a dead body while using the app as she searched for water-type Pokémon near the Big Wind River in Wyoming.

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