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Niantic’s Pokémon Go privacy concerns are overblown: F-Secure

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Maker was never able to read Gmail and the permissiveness has more to do with Google’s settings than Niantic

Refuting the entire controversy and security concerns surrounding Niantic’s Pokémon Go that it may be compromising the gamer Gmail account, Finland based cyber security firm F-Secure said that the privacy and security concerns are typical of any well-known app. And, maker of Pokémon Go was never able to read gamer Gmail account and the permissiveness has more to do with Google’s settings than Niantic’s.

“The robbery stuff is hyped nonsense, allegedly happens once, and the press can’t resist telling the story,” F-Secure’s security advisor Sean Sullivan said, adding that the stories are mostly overblown.

Some of the recent reports suggested that Niantic, the app’s maker had been collecting gamers email address, IP address, the web page use by the them before logging into Pokémon Go, their username, and location. Sean said, “This may sounds bad, but its typical of most apps.” He advised that a gamer should always check privacy settings.

There was also news that the app gives Niantic full access to gamer entire Google account, which they have to use to create an account for the game. F-Secure said, after analysis, it turns out that the maker was never able to read gamer Gmail and the permissiveness has more to do with Google’s settings than Niantic’s. However, to play, one may create a separate Google account that is not connected to other key Gmail accounts.

“Yes, criminals are taking advantage of the app’s popularity and Android’s laxer security standards — at least compared to the iOS App Store — to spread infected fake “backdoored” versions of the app. But that’s true of many popular Android apps,” said F-Secure, suggesting that one should always stick to the official app stores and check reviews before downloading.

Given the success of the app, gamer are bound to hear many stories that stoke suspicion both of the app and the players. They are also likely to see many imitators who will take advantage of how the app has exposed adult’s urges to play games on their phone that actually bring them into public. And, of course, there will be efforts to monetize this sensation. Players can already buy virtual items to speed their progress, but augmented reality presents unique advertising opportunities, said F-Secure.

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