Since its release earlier this month, Pokémon Go has quickly become one of the most popular apps of all time. The app has created a new way to encourage users to get out and be active with technology, but its use of location services and account access requests raises questions about data safety.
At the time of its release, Pokémon Go requested full access to users’ Google accounts. The creator, Niantic Labs, has since admitted this was a mistake and changed the app setting that requested account access.
Although Pokémon Go no longer accesses users’ Google accounts, there are still many questions about what information the app accesses and shares. This is not a problem exclusive to Pokémon Go; in the past there have been reports of other popular apps, such as Words with Friends, accessing user data.
Aside from location services, apps are able to access email, contacts and other media stored on a device. For this reason, users are encouraged to practice extreme discretion when sharing and storing information on apps, especially before recycling or reselling older devices.
Using standard data-cleansing practices can often lead to residual data being left behind on devices, especially in apps. If residual data gets into the hands of an unauthorized source, the previous user runs the risk of credential and information theft.
The best way to avoid residual data vulnerabilities is to resell or recycle older devices through a certified mobile asset manager. Working with a certified company that specializes in end-of-life services guarantees mobile devices are properly refurbished and all data is erased by NIST standards.
HOBI International, Inc. is an R2, RIOS, ISO 14001 certified mobile asset management company. HOBI provides the best practices in data erasure, as well as device refurbishment and recycling.