Here's Why You Need To Chill About Pokémon Go 'Reading Your Emails'


Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm. If Pokémon Go was a zombie virus, everyone in the world would be dead.

And let me remind you, it only launched SIX DAYS AGO.

Considering its massive popularity – it's about to tie with Twitter in terms of daily active users on Android – some people started to worry about possible security consequences: Namely, what does it mean when Pokémon Go requests "full account access" to users' Google accounts?

After all, like every user agreement in history, the answer is always, "Fine, just leave me alone immediately."

So, everyone said yes without thinking about it. Suddenly, there were articles all over the internet claiming that Pokémon Go could read all our emails.

According to Google's official support document, "full access" means that an app can "see and modify nearly all information in your Google account."

This would be very bad if it were true.


So, is this really the case? Because if I have to choose between a whimsical fun time with digital monsters that I force to attack one another and completely giving up my internet privacy, I'm still picking Pokémon... but I won't be happy about it.

Niantic (the app developer behind Pokémon Go) released a statement disputing these claims, asserting, "Pokémon Go only accesses basic Google profile information."

He said they "recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account."

Basically, they're saying that they made a mistake with the language they used, and that they don't actually have full access.

While this sounds extremely fishy to me, Google has actually backed up this claim. Niantic says it's working on the fix that will change the misleading language.

As further evidence that Pokémon Go never actually had access to anything more than your email address and basic profile information, Gizmodo pointed out,

A product security developer at Slack tested the token provided by Pokémon Go and found that it was never able to get data from services like Gmail or Calendar.

So – at least until more news on this comes out – don't worry about having to delete the app and losing the only productive thing you've done with your life this year.