Pokemon Go! has full access to your data

According to Art’s Technica (a site that passes the C.R.A.P test) consistently, the newest craze Pokemon Go! on iOS has FULL access to your personal data. You might not care, which means you don’t yet see your privacy and data as currency which it now is. Your data is more than likely to be bought and sold.

Blogger Adam Reeve picked this up, saying

Let me be clear – Pokemon Go and Niantic can now:

  • Read all your email
  • Send email as you
  • Access all your Google drive documents (including deleting them)
  • Look at your search history and your Maps navigation history
  • Access any private photos you may store in Google Photos
  • And a whole lot more

There is a lot more ‘scare’ going on too – as hack-journalists bang on about people walking into the road without being aware of their surroundings and of course the ‘potential’ of malware and viruses hitting your device. This media ’rounding off’ behavior is nothing new and commonly applied as top and tail puff pieces to pad out the word count about games in mainstream media *cough, so I wouldn’t pay much attention to that.

However, privacy is an issue for schools and those using Google apps as their back-bone are ‘potentially’ at risk, but the wider concern is that the ongoing happy clapping over Google products will see this issue ignored completely and resigned to being an ‘at home’ problem, well outside of school. But of course it’s not – Google is a brand and it’s been shown in research that they don’t see a dividing line between Google school and home.

Next term, I’m looking at AR and VR with students and we will in fact be playing Ingress (made by the same company) and one of the main reasons we’re doing this it to think carefully about the future of information that we will supply and collide with in the ‘natural’ environment. Pokemon Go! makes for a nice discussion for me – because while people are out hunting down Pokemons, there are some very big servers collecting your information – whether by accident or not – they are not going to tell you.

Digital Home and Contents Insurance

Cyber saftey has crossed into the “internet of things” already. Governments and law enforcement agencies are gradually implementing surveillance technologies that are more accurate, unnoticeable, cheap, pervasive, ubiquitous and searchable in real time. Don’t expect an announcement on this – it’s a dirty business behind closed doors.

To me $50 a year is a small price to pay for digital-home-insurance, and a great opportunity to engage my kids in discussions about freedom, privacy and liberty. It’s more essential than anti-virus or firewalls – although your Telco and government will make little mention of it – they value the collection principle over anonymity principle.

I’m doing the feds a favour. Along with fitting a smoke detector and locks to my windows, I’m securing my kids from enemy-agents too. I’m doing my bit to protect our way of life. It’s like not leaving tempting valuables in the car. For $50 a year, I can VPN up your iPhone, tablet and home computer.

Of course this doesn’t stop Telstra types selling you down the river, or accidental data-dumping – that’s just incompetence. But I still think fitting VPNs to you (and especially your kids devices) gives you a valuable buffer. It’s a deep dark hole when you start looking into privacy online. It’s hard to stand back and say “I don’t have time or that the issues are too complex”. This burn note will self-destruct in …

If you’ve got kids going online at home – playing video games, watching video and so on – and you don’t have a VPN then good luck to you.