Pokemon GO app privacy risks

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Pokemon GO app lets users experience a virtual reality, but there are some concerns about how the app could put a user’s data at risk.  Pokemon GO player Erica Billings pays close attention to her account settings after having a past problem with a different game.

“It was a game a while ago. It was able to read, like they said, with the emails and everything, and I was so afraid that I blocked everything because I don’t want them to get account information,” Billings said.

Many users sign in with a Google account.  The Better Business Bureau says the iPhone version of the app can access all Google data.

Leonard Crain with the Better Business Bureau says the app has had privacy problems, but the creator is working with Google to fix those issues.

“Your personal information like email address, user name and that kind of thing could have been made available to others, but they’re calling that a bug and they’re working on to get it fixed,” Crain said.

He says to be mindful of the access the app has to your phone’s GPS and camera.

“It’s going to be, they’re saying, it’s going to be a real data user and you may wind up unknowingly playing the game and then running up your cell phone bill,” Crain explained.

Jonathon Dolsen’s phone doesn’t have capabilities to download the Pokemon GO app so, he plays Pokemon virtually on a Nintendo DS.

“I would say in a way it is safer. There’s not as much personal information on the actual DS machines or anything like that,” Dolsen said.

Although he says the DS version might be safer, Dolsen says the Pokemon GO app is worth the risk.  Crain suggests users only download the app from the official app stores in order to avoid getting viruses.

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