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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
Calling All Crazies: Pokeman Go Will Change Your Life
July 12, 2016
Unless you've been living under a rock this past week, odds are that you are deeply involved or know someone who is obsessed with playing Pokeman Go. I'm guessing that a lot of the participants have no idea what information and access they have given to the developer or the potential harm that can come from playing. Pokeman Go is essentially a game where you search around to find various Pokeman characters. The app is available for Android and iOS devices. If you use Pokeman Go on an iOS device, you are asked to login to your pokeman.com or Google account. Since registrations are currently closed on pokeman.com, using your Google credentials is the only alternative. Using your Google account on an iOS device will then give the app full access to your Google account. According to a Softpedia post, "This includes the ability to read the content of emails, send emails in your name, access private Google Drive or Google Photos files, view Maps or Search history, and a whole bunch more." Apparently, the Android app doesn't have this problem.
There are even bigger problems when you agree to play Pokeman Go. There have been incidents where users have been targeted and lured to an isolated area where they are robbed. If you don't download the app from the Google Play store, you may be installing malware to your phone. It's also dangerous to your health if you are not paying attention while playing. One user cut his hand when he tried to stop suddenly while riding a skateboard in order to catch a pokeman. Of course you'll probably end up walking into a tree or falling into a hole while staring at the phone screen. You must have geolocation (GPS) capability enabled on your phone in order to determine your location in relation to the pokeman. Guess what? You're also telling the developer and other pokeman players where you are too. I don't know why you would want to waste countless minutes of your life inviting total strangers to rob you.