Volkswagen Bans Workers From Playing Pokémon Go While On Duty Citing Security Risk And Safety Hazards

Aug 19, 2016 10:08 AM EDT | Sovan Mandal


Volkswagen has let out a new directive to its employees that prohibits them from playing the game Pokémon Go while on work or when on company premises. Going a step further, the carmaker is even suggesting its employees not to have the game installed on their work devices such as smartphones or tablets.

The email to this effect has already been sent out to the over 70,000 of Volkswagen's employees.

The German automaker justified its move saying the game can undermine the privacy of the company as well as that of its employees. According to AutoGuide, the obvious reference here is to the Geo-Tracking functionality of the game which runs the risk of leaking sensitive inside info about the company to its competitors.

The augmented reality based Geo-Tracking feature uses location tagging and data sharing which coupled to the in-built cameras of the smartphones might provide competitors a vital insight of what's cooking inside the Volkswagen camp.

It is not known as of now if Volkswagen's move is in response to any instance of industrial espionage against it or if it is a precautionary move.

Another reason put forward by the automaker is that playing the game while on work might also serve as a distraction to its employees, and hence pose a threat to their personal safety as well.

However, Volkswagen isn't alone in its tirade against Pokémon Go while on work premises. According to NintendoLife, Pentagon too has issued a similar directive to its officials. Meanwhile, the game also stands banned altogether in Iran due to security reasons.

No other company, automaker or otherwise, is known to have banned Pokémon Go so far though the reasons put forward by Volkswagen seems justified enough. As such, there might be other companies that could serve similar prohibitory orders against playing the game while on duty or within work premises.

It remains to be seen how the makers of the game respond to the situation.

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