RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If you’re one of the millions of people obsessed with Pokémon Go, there’s something you need to know: While you’re out capturing cartoon monsters, the game’s creator is capturing an unbelievable amount of your personal information.
When Frankie James signed up for Pokemon Go, he had no idea he was giving the company behind it full access to his Google account.
“With the amount of things you can do with the game and the technology, it doesn’t surprise me that it had access to that much stuff,” says James.
That stuff he talks about is a wealth of personal information, like your emails, Google drive documents, even Google photos. If you’re an iPhone owner and signed up with Gmail, you granted the company behind the game permission to look at it all.
“It’s terrifying, but I don’t think they’re going to do anything,” adds Cory Garnett. He thinks he protected his privacy by signing up for the game with a bogus Gmail account. So did a lot of other young people we found hunting Pokemon in Monroe Park.
Kate Foxworthy says she used, “My spam Google account. The one that I use for things I don’t care about.”
Digital forensic expert Patrick Siewert of Pro Digital Forensic Consulting insists that it’s important to control the flow of your personal information.
“Be very selective and careful about the info you put out there about yourself because you never know when a third party app or even a data breach or something like that could happen and expose that info.”
The company behind Pokemon Go says it’s working to fix the problem. But fanatical players like James aren’t fazed.
“I’m not worried. I’m still going to go around Pokemon Go for as far as I can go,” he says.