The newly-launched augmented reality (AR) game Pokemon Go poses a great data security threat to users as the app gets “full access” to their Google account, allowing the gaming company to read all emails, a new report said on Wednesday.
According to security software company Trend Micro, for some users of iPhones, signing into the game with the most convenient option — using your Google account — allows the gaming company to read your emails.
“Other risks this game exposes are physical risks to actual life and limb,” the report said.
While enjoying the game, the user is exposed to many threats and introduces whole new categories of life risks.
Firstly, Pokemon Go’s real-world gameplay has been linked to armed robberies as criminals have used the game to locate and lure intended targets.
Secondly, there are reports of trespassing as enthusiastic players try to “find” and “capture” creatures on others’ property. In the US, gamers trespassing on others’ property face a real threat of physical harm from property owners who may use force to protect their property.
“And of course, there’s the risk of injury or death from not paying attention to your surroundings as you play the game,” the report added.
Thirdly, the users can meet an accident while they are indulged in gaming.
The game requires users’ full attention immediately to the exclusion of all else.
Although, there is a warning each time you start the game to be sure to pay attention but that warning is quickly overlooked.
In the US, where the game is very popular, police departments and safety agencies have warned players of Pokemon Go to stay safe and alert as hysteria over the popular mobile game swells.
Since launch, the game has topped 7.5 million downloads and pulled in an average of $1.6 million a day in revenue, according to estimates from research firm SensorTower.
“Agencies have urged players to stay aware of their surroundings and be careful,” USA Today reported.
This is how the game works.
It uses the GPS capabilities of your device in conjunction with Google Maps to “place” creatures in real world locations, which you then try to find them using your device as a guide.
Once you are in proximity to the “placed” creature, you then use your device’s camera to “view” the creature and try to “capture” it.
“This works with you using your device as a viewer to ‘see’ the creature near you by looking at an image from the camera with the creature superimposed on it. You then ‘capture’ the creature for points by throwing Poké Balls at it on the device’s screen,” Trend Micro stated.
The Pokemon Go is available on Google Playstore and Apple’s App Store in the US, Japan and Australia, Philippines, New Zealand and is coming soon in India, Singapore, Germany, Taiwan, Indonesia and Britain.
However, a mirror file is available on the internet and people in India are already downloading the game from insecured sources.
The Pokemon Go Plus device which is a wrist watch will be available in August, informed apkqueen.com, the website which is providing link to download the game.