By on August 13, 2016

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

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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35 Comments on “Volkswagen Doesn’t Trust its Employees With Pokémon Go...”


  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    The plural of “Pokémon” is “Pokémon.”

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      The plural of grown assed men chasing pokemon is douchebags.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Ignoring for a moment that my grammar correction is irrelevant to the particular game being discussed, you don’t like a game that gets people (men and women) up and walking around in the real world?

        “See those people out having fun and getting exercise? Screw them! They’re just a bunch of douchebags!”

        Now, should they be doing it during work hours, even on personal phones, while on work grounds? Probably not. But what’s wrong with it outside of that?

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          It’s better than standing in a dark smoke filled room pulling the handle of a slot machine while feeding it your life savings.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Iran banned it. That’s a pretty good recommendation.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @kenmore

            How many sears candies does it take to evolve you into a Kenmore Elite or a Sub-Zero? :^)

          • 0 avatar
            Eiriksmal

            mcs wins.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “How many sears candies does it take to evolve you into a Kenmore Elite or a Sub-Zero?”

            Doesn’t work that way.

            Fat is the new Underclass.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Sears has a contract with the Maytag repair man to do upgrades, and well we know how lazy that guy is most of the time.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            “How many sears candies does it take to evolve you into a Kenmore Elite or a Sub-Zero?”

            ‘Doesn’t work that way.’

            I thought we had to make Kenmore do battle with a stove, or perhaps start him against a microwave first.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “do battle with a stove, or perhaps start him against a microwave first.”

            Sub Zero: FINISH HIM.

      • 0 avatar

        Grown assed men always were and still are hunters and killers deep inside. It is safer when they satisfy their deeply held instincts by hunting pokemon rather than joining gangs and hunting living and breathing prey. My cat would be enthralled if he could hold cellphone in his paws and learn how to use touch screen.

        • 0 avatar
          Johnster

          If cats had opposable thumbs they’d take over the world.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            That’s essentially what raccoons are, right? All the deviousness of cats with the opposable thumbs necessary to carry out their schemes…and yet, seemingly none of the ambition.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          “It is safer when they satisfy their deeply held instincts by hunting pokemon rather than joining gangs and hunting living and breathing prey.”

          That is… Not how that works. The people hunting people will most likely not not be dissuaded by the option of hunting pokey-mans.

  • avatar
    Asdf

    Is this an implicit admission that VW is using child labour?

  • avatar
    Hydromatic

    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.

  • avatar
    brn

    “forbidden from installing the app on their company phones”

    Most companies forbid the installation of any unauthorized app on a company phone.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    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.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Hmmm. TTAC does a very job of representing the CarScoop article. The CS article states “approximately 70,000 employees to inform them that chasing…Pokemons during working hours is strictly prohibited.” Company phones are mentioned separately, later in the article. It mentions guidelines, not necessarily the notification that went out to the employees. TTAC took some liberties in merging the two.

    • 0 avatar

      I worked for the company where every employee could get company issued smart phone which got regularly upgraded. Some opted out because of privacy concerns. I would rather prefer company to pay for my personal cellphone and stay away from what I do on the phone.

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