Volkswagen Doesn't Trust Its Employees With Pokemon Go

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
volkswagen doesn t trust its employees with pokemon go

The powers that be at Volkswagen aren’t big fans of the Pokémon Go app. While most people think of it as a fun and nerdy augmented reality game, the automaker’s executives see it as a one-way ticket to industrial espionage.

Because of this, Volkswagen’s 70,000 employees are forbidden from installing the app on their company phones, according to the German publication Bild (via Carscoops).

A recent email sent to employees outlined the ground rules surrounding the app. In addition to the company phone ban, workers cannot chase Pokémons during work hours, even if they’re on break and using their personal phones. Work hours are for designing and building quality non-diesel automobiles, you see, but there’s another reason for the paranoia.

Because the app uses geolocation, cameras and data sharing, the bosses at Wolfsburg want to avoid leaks of sensitive product information. A single enthusiastic employee sharing a photo of a Pokémon could blow the secrecy surrounding a new vehicle. The report also states that smart phone cameras must be covered when employees enter key areas of the company’s facilities.

This might sound heavy-handed, but the employees don’t seem to mind. According to the report, workers claim there aren’t any rare Pokémons on factory grounds, anyway.

While Volkswagen employees enjoy their efficient, Pokémon-free work life, other players continue to land themselves in hot water while playing the game. Some players have fallen off cliffs, while others slam into parked police cruisers while in pursuit of valuable Pokémons.

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17 of 35 comments
  • Hydromatic Hydromatic on Aug 13, 2016

    I'm surprised VW would even allow smartphones on the premises. I've worked plenty of jobs where phones of any kind were a no-go due to espionage concerns.

  • Brn Brn on Aug 13, 2016

    "forbidden from installing the app on their company phones" Most companies forbid the installation of any unauthorized app on a company phone.

    • See 7 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Aug 14, 2016

      @brn The idea of an app reporting had not occurred to me, thanks for pointing that out. Although I imagine such an app could be spoofed.

  • Fordson Fordson on Aug 13, 2016

    Agreed...there is absolutely nothing remarkable about this; its value as a post is that it provides another opportunity for TTAC personnel to slag VW.

    • Northeaster Northeaster on Aug 14, 2016

      As a current VW owner, I would have to say that VAG is doing an adequate job of that without assistance. But piling on is perfectly fair.

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Aug 14, 2016

    What I find remarkable is they have issued 70,000 company cell phones. I've worked for Fortune 100s that have paid my cellphone bill - never had a corporate issued phone in my life.

    • See 3 previous
    • Quentin Quentin on Aug 15, 2016

      @28-Cars-Later Their SIM card in your phone would put you in the same gray area. I personally just keep my own cell phone along with my company phone. Work stuff happens on work phone, personal on personal.