Volkswagen has banned its employees from playing Pokémon GO while on company premises in an effort to protect intellectual property and prevent industrial espionage, it was recently revealed.

Some corners of the internet believe that Pokémon GO is actually a friendly, fun face masking a sinister plan to map public and private spaces in great detail.

In much the same way as Google Street View cars have been roving about the earth’s roadways, capturing endless terabytes of images for photographic archives, some believe that the creators of Pokémon GO have similarly been mapping out spaces and locales that Google cars can’t reach.

Regardless of whether there is any truth to such postulation, VW has taken a cautious, conservative approach, preventing cell phone cameras from being pointed at company property in the first place, reports CarScoops.

In an email sent to approximately 70,000 VW employees, the German automaker forbid the playing of Pokémon GO on company time, and also forbid workers from downloading the app on company phones and electronic devices.

In addition to security concerns, the app poses imminent safety concerns in an industrial environment, given the zombie-like shuffle often taken on by players tracking characters in the game.

The Pokémon GO app has been downloaded by over 100 million people worldwide to date, with the number of Pokémon chasers growing daily. While players aim to collect them all, those with VW factory access will have to render their workplace a safe-space for the virtual characters.

(CarScoops with photo via Ideal Photography)