Pokémon Go is the new craze sweeping the world. It’s just a game, but how does it relate to real-life laws? And could it really be a target for cyber criminals?
Last week, Nintendo launched its new ‘augmented reality’ game, Pokémon Go, across the world. Nintendo spread the launch dates out, with the USA, Australia and New Zealand first, and Europe and other parts of Asia launches in the following days.
For the uninitiated (and you’ll be hard pushed to be one of those with the blanket media coverage), the game blends digital characters from the successful Pokémon franchise, with GPS and location based technologies on smart phones.
Global Craze…and Growing
Within 24 hours of its US release last Tuesday, Pokémon Go had already overtaken its competition to be the biggest game of 2016. It moved to number 1 on App Store, and after 3 days had become the biggest mobile game in US history.
The incredible growth has also helped Nintendo’s market value jump. It marks the end of a difficult period for Nintendo, who’s market value has been in decline since October 2015.
Nintendo’s market value increase by 10 per cent when the game went viral in the first week of July, with a further 25 per cent added by last Tuesday. This equates to nearly $9 billion added to the market value in less than a week.
The new craze has not been without its hiccups, however. In addition to people walking into walls and falling down holes while glued to their phones, there have also been reports of muggings and armed robbery facilitated by the game’s geolocation software.
Police in Australia have also issued a couple of public announcements in light of these incidents. They have asked the public to be aware of their surroundings while hunting Pokémon, that they shouldn’t use the app while driving, and that “I was collecting Pokémon” is not a defence for trespassing.
The final point brings into focus the issue of how augmented reality games will cope with country laws. As users are collecting characters in the real-world, the potential for trespass grows.
Pokémon Go a Cyber Target?
A number of experts have also argued that Nintendo’s launch could leave some users potentially vulnerable to cyber criminals. With a staggered launch, some users may have been tempted to download a version of the app from unverified third-party app stores. This could subsequently leave them vulnerable to malicious apps and malware.
These apps could then allow criminals to access smartphone data, spy on users, or even control phones remotely. Another report by security software company, Trend Micro, highlighted the risk posed by the game to individuals’ data.
Gamers who downloaded Pokémon Go and registered using a gmail account, could inadvertently give third parties access to private data. However, this issue could be mitigated by ensuring the correct privacy settings in the app.
While the cyber crime risk for Pokémon Go seems fairly low, it may signify the start of a larger issue. The growth of augmented reality games, smartphone technology, and connected devices via the Internet of Things, does pose a cyber security risk.
But what is certain is that as the technology leaps forward, security provisions and investment needs to move forward too.
Have you jumped on the Pokémon Go bandwagon? Do you think talk about cyber crime for these games is realistic? Let us know.
We’ve dragged ourselves away from virtual creature capture long enough this week to bring you the weekly headlines…
General Motors Deal with Bankrupt Supplier
- GM’s contract dispute with Clark-Cutler-McDermott Co. (CCM) has forced the parts supplier into bankruptcy protection, with plans to sell its remaining assets.
- CCM has argued that unprofitable contracts have led them to lose $12 million since 2013.
- GM will purchase a quantity of critical factory equipment and parts necessary to continue production across their North American factories.
- The well-publicised dispute in the bankruptcy court has shed light on the uneven power dynamic between car makers and parts suppliers.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal
Retailers Struggling with Reverse Supply Chain
- Customer returns and product recalls are becoming increasingly common, with the most notable recent event being IKEA’s massive recall of 36 million dressers worldwide.
- Returns and recalls pose a significant challenge for the retail sector to build a ‘reverse supply chain’.
- This term can be misleading, as it is not simply the usual supply chain run backwards, but a complex network of transportation and resellers.
- Retail Industry Leaders Association VP Adam Siegel warns: “You’re not going to succeed if you’re losing money on your reverse supply chain because, inevitably, the reverse supply chain is going to grow.”
Read more at PYMNTS.com
Palm Oil Industry Rife with Human Rights Abuses
- The palm oil industry has come under further scrutiny for human rights abuses.
- The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has released an animated video that highlights the organisation’s largest criticisms of the palm oil industry.
- The video focuses on the non-compliance of a PepsiCo joint venture and endemic labour abuses in Indonesia.
- RAN claims workers at palm oil plantations have been subjected to excessively long work hours for low wages, dangerous exposure to agricultural chemicals, confiscation of passports, and child labour.
Read more at Triple Pundit
IBM Pushes Blockchain in Supply Chain
- IBM has launched a platform for companies to test “blockchain” record-keeping technology in their supply chains.
- The service is an attempt to expand the use of blockchain beyond the financial services industry.
- IBM’s new service lets supply chain customers build and test blockchains using a version of the company’s LinuxOne system.
- The service is aimed at companies that need to track high-value items through complex supply chains.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal