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Pokémon Go’s developer says it’s not snooping on your Google account

A visitor with a Pokemon backpack walks through a gaming area at the Major League Gaming World Finals in New Orleans, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. Thousands of people are converging on New Orleans this weekend for the tournament. Players from around the world are competing in such games as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Dota 2. The event started Friday and goes through Sunday at the convention center. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
Pikachu says oops.
By Alice Truong
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Niantic, the mobile game developer that brought the world the smash hit Pokémon Go, says the privacy concerns raised by the app can be chalked up to an honest mistake.

After a wave of backlash over the amount of information Pokémon Go had permission glean from players’ Google accounts, Niantic and the Pokémon Company said today (July 11) that they erroneously asked for more permissions than intended.

Pokémon Go players have two options when logging into the app: They can create an account with Pokémon Trainer Club or sign in using their Google accounts. Players on iOS who chose the latter option, however, unknowingly granted the game full access to their Google accounts.

Niantic and the Pokémon Company, which is partly owned by Nintendo, said in a statement that the game accessed only players’ user IDs and email addresses, “and no other Google account information is or has been accessed or collected.”

Furthermore, the companies said, “Google has verified that no other information has been received or accessed by Pokémon Go or Niantic.”

Niantic said it began working on a fix once it was aware of the problem, and Google will automatically downgrade the permissions for Pokémon Go so it will have access to only basic profile data.

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