12/7/2016 UPDATE: This issue has been resolved and an updated app with less Google account access is now available in the App Store.
Pokémon Go released in the US for iPhone and Android on July 6, and since then has amassed a tremendous following. To put it into perspective, Pokemon Go is already on its way to overtaking Twitter in daily active users on Android.
While everyone is hurriedly joining the Pokémon Go craze they may not be aware of what they’re giving up in return for playing the game. Users on iOS are reporting that Pokemon Go grants full access to one’s Google account. Revoking the access would mean giving up your ability to play the game.
Now let’s weigh it out and take a look at exactly what it means when you give an app access to your account. There are three levels of access: read and write access, access to view basic profile information, and full account access. Full account access is the highest level of access an app could have.
Full Account Access
When an app has full access to your Google account it can see and manipulate nearly every piece of information contained within it. The only things it can’t do are change your password, delete your account, or autonomously pay for something with Google Wallet.
It’s typical for most Google apps to be granted full account access, but it’s not a permission that is granted to most apps — especially not games. Further, there is no apparent reason why the game would need to have access to someone’s entire Google account.
If you’re not comfortable with giving Pokémon Go full access to your Google account, it’s easy to go to this page and see all the apps connected to your account. From there you can revoke access, should you choose to do so.
Again, this only appears to be happening for iPhone users. Those playing Pokémon Go on their Android devices are not granting Google full access to their account at this time. We’ve contacted Google for more information and will update if and when we get a response.
Photo via DepositPhotos