Pokemon Go has swept the world, drawing people of all ages into the augmented reality game and, in some cases, even putting some people in danger. The premise of the game is collecting as many Pokemon as possible, which players do by taking their smartphones out and looking for the little critters.
Pokemon Go: Gotta catch ’em all
The game is augmented reality in that the Pokemon show up on the smartphone next to objects in real life as people scan around them with their devices. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a lot of people wandering about town with their noses in their devices (even more than usual), and some have wandered off hills, into traffic, and into other dangers because they’re paying more attention to the game than they are to their surroundings. Some robbers are even using Pokemon Go to lure people to their location so that they can rob them.
But aside from the real-world dangers, Pokemon Go also brings virtual dangers. For example, did you know that the game may also be able to access your entire Google account? You can’t be too careful with app permissions these days, and it is possible to play Pokemon Go without giving it permission to access all parts of your Google account.
How to revoke Pokemon Go’s all-access pass to your Google account
In fact, it’s advisable that you place limits on the game, just as you do (hopefully) with other apps. So here’s how to check if Pokemon Go has full access to your Google account and how to change the game’s permissions if it does.
One of the options for logging into Pokemon Go is to do so with your Google account, but while this does make it easy to access the game, doing so gives the game’s developer, Niantic, full access to your Google account. This is a much deeper level of access than most apps receive when a user logs in with their Google account, which makes this particularly interesting.
It also means that Pokemon Go is able to see and change almost all of the information in your Google account, Google states. Just about the only things it can’t do with full access are change your password, delete your account, or pay for something using Google Wallet. While this sounds scary, it’s unlikely that the developer had any evil intent in setting the game up to demand full access, although it still isn’t a good idea to keep this access open. Google advises that users only grant full access to apps that totally trust on their PC, tablet or phone.
Thankfully if you’ve already granted Pokemon Go full access, it’s quite easy to change it. All you need to do is visit Google’s security page and click on the game. Then you can easily remove full access from the game. If you’re worried about the game’s performance, removing full access doesn’t seem to impact it.