Egyptian officials say ‘Pokémon Go’ jeopardizes country’s national security

A virtual map of Bryant Park is displayed on the screen as a man plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. (File photo: Reuters)

Egyptian cabinet spokesman, Hossam al-Qawish, said on Wednesday that all apps downloaded on smart phones will be probed and scrutinized including the app for the game Pokémon Go to find out if they pose a threat to the country’s national security.

To minimize any potential dangers, officials are now discussing the possibility of formulating new regulations for online games, Qawish said during a press conference when he was asked about the trending game Pokémon Go.

Before Qawish’s statement, Hani al-Nazer, former president of the National Research Center (NRC), described Pokémon Go as a serious threat to one’s safety.

‘Harmful’

The game, which is based on capturing Pokémons using GPS and phone’s camera, “could be used for espionage and information gathering,” Nazer told Al Arabiya Net, the Arabic-language sister website of Al Arabiya English.

He added: “The game uses the phone owner’s information on Google and helps to know more about his personality and way of living,” he said.

Nazer warned that the application does not only “collects the player’s phone data,” but tracks “his way of living… where he lives, the style of his house and the number of residents without the need to send spies.”

He also called for speedy regulations to be put in place to thwart any efforts jeopardizing Egypt’s national security.

The article first appeared in Al Arabiya Net.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:58 - GMT 10:58
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