How to Fix Your Pokémon Go Privacy Settings

Since the alternate reality app has been released it has taken over the lives of iPhone and Android users everywhere. And while the popular app has helped to change the way that we look at video games forever, it did come with some flaws.

Since users had to log into their Google accounts in order to download the app and play it, this action provided the game’s creators Niantic full access to your Google account. Obviously this was an issue that needed to be fixed immediately.

According to cyber security experts the app was a huge security risk. When the game first surfaced, only iPhone users were warmed that they had to grant Pokémon Go with full account access on Google. The only other way to sign up and avoid this issue was to go through the game’s website which had been overwhelmed with users and limiting the number of people who can sign up at one time. This long wait led impatient Pokémon trainers to disregard the privacy warning and sign up using their Google account credentials.

So what does “full account access” mean? It means that downloading the Pokémon Go app would allow it to read all of your email, send email to you, and have access to all your Google Drive documents. It could even delete them. The app also had access to any private photos that you may have stored in your Google Photos account and a lot more.

Because of these risks many people who wanted to play the game, but were aware of how serious granting full access to their account was, weren’t able to.

On July 13th the company announced that they had released a new version of the game, Pokémon Go version 1.0.1 which would address all privacy concerns.

Here is how you can fix your privacy settings so that you can avoid this issue.

  • Step 1: Go to Google’s list of apps connected to your account and find Pokémon Go.
  • Step 2: Refuse the app’s privileges by clicking on it and then the blue Remove button.
  • Step 3: Open up your Pokémon Go game and click on the Pokeball. Then, in the settings located in the top right hand corner, scroll down until you see the sign out option and click. Your save file will not be affected. You will then be taken to the log in screen for the application where you can sign up with Google or the Pokémon Trainer Club. You will need to log back into the game using your Google account.
  • Step 4: Log back in with the same Google user ID and password that you have used in the past. You will be taken to a screen that says “Pokémon Go Release would like to Know who you are on Google and View your Email address. You have the option to Allow or Deny this action. By clicking on Allow, you will be allowing Pokémon Go and Google to use your information in accordance with their respective terms of service and their privacy policies. You can change this and other Account Permissions at any time.
  • Step 5: After clicking on Allow, you will be taken to another screen that shows you the updated privacy requirements of the game when you sign in using your Google Account. Instead of providing the app with full access, you will now grant the game knowledge of your name and the ability to see your email address.
  • Step 6: You are done, you can go back to playing the app without worrying about future privacy issues.

 

Of course, you will need to keep in mind that an advanced game like Pokémon Go will continue to track your location as it allows you to find Pokémon in the real world. One of the top investors for the company that created the game is Google, which means that both Google and Niantic will have a large amount of data collected on their users as they continue to play the game. And they will be able to gather even more vital information with the location tracking and GPS use of this type of game.

If you do not like to have your personal information shared with major companies online, you may have a difficult time playing the game.  If you are still interested in playing Pokémon without the privacy interference of Pokémon Go, you can look forward to the upcoming Pokémon Sun & Moon game that will be available to play on Nintendo’s handheld devices such as the DS and 3DS.