Hit augmented reality game Pokemon Go quietly gets complete access to your Google account

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/11/hit-augmented-reality-game-pok.html


My first thought when I saw this topic was “Oh, FFS…” You see, I had installed Pokemon Go on my android device a few hours ago to see what all the augmented reality fuss was about. Fortunately, it appears that if you register with ‘Pokemon Club’ instead of ‘Google Account,’ it doesn’t appear touch your Google account or get permissions to same.

Unfortunately, Melizmatic has got the right idea, though that comic should have another panel in which “big brother” comes back and pwnz Google and Facebook with National Security Letters, embedded agents, weakened protocols, and co-conspiratorial telcos.


This phenomenon is making me uncomfortable in all sorts of ways.


The issue’s specific to the iOS version.

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If we could zoom out of the frame even further, I’m sure that it would be the even bigger ominous threat looming in the background over Google’s shoulder.


Yeah. I looked at my Android’s perms screen for Pokemon Go, and was surprised that all I saw was this:

(I turned off contacts.)

Also, even though I signed up with my Google Account, I didn’t even see Pokemon Go in my list of connected apps on Google’s dashboard. So I’m not sure what to make of that.

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“POKEMON SURVEIILANCE PRIVACY GMAIL GPS” wheezed the blogger, “THEY HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR GOOGLE wait, hold on so what does Google have access t… huuoooooohhhhhh!”



I tried to make a club account but it told me they were to busy, then I opted to use my gmail account. I never do this. I’m hoping this gets some outcry and fixed.

I did the honorable thing and registered the Pgo account with my daughter’s email address.


I’m not sure I’m getting it. Is this game somewhat more compelling fun than, say, Tamagotchi?

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I downloaded the app but all the interface is Japanese and there’s no way to change the language. I’m not that keen…

It’s in beta. Plus Tamagotchi didn’t have an enormous media empire behind it. Also, PGo is location-based, Tamagotchi was just counting your steps. Also the Tamagotchi interface was just plain garbage because the three buttons were completely unmarked.


Oh, I’m not implying that Tamagotchi was remotely good or interesting.

What I don’t get is why Pokemon, in any incarnation, is remotely good or interesting. Let alone hot enough to get these kids wandering around in public, mile after mile, looking for imaginary cartoon monsters.

Yeah, sure, I’m an Old, whatever. I never understood the appeal of Magic: The Gathering either.


What if there were only 151 different animals?

Wouldn’t you try to become some kind of expert in all of them?


By making them wage cartoon battles? Until they collapse from exhaustion?

Naw, you wouldn’t either. :wink:

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I virtually kill hundreds of people every weekend with guns and bombs and sharp sticks and running them over and pushing them off of precipices and, and, and. What would make a virtual dogfight any worse than that?



I go wandering around a post-apocalyptic wasteland, helping sentient synthetic humans escape their oppressors.

While blowing up mutated scorpions and the occasional ill-mannered bystander.

And purple-blooded holy-roller space aliens.

Hey, they asked for it.


Ah yes. I too help people make progress and build their civilizations: