Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo
Wi-Fi Bluetooth

Review date: Nov. 8, 2021

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Not creepy

Since we launched *Privacy Not Included back in 2017, the Nintendo Switch has sat at the top of our list of products users find least creepy. Good on Nintendo for doing a great job with privacy. And for featuring sweet games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Mario, the Legend of Zelda. Good guy Nintendo also puts a lot of emphasis on easy-to-use parental controls. Dear Santa, we've been really good this year.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

First off, SET UP TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION! If you don't set up two-factor authentication, someone could hack into your Nintendo account and buy a bunch of games at your expense. That could be costly and you don’t want that headache.

Nintendo does a pretty good job with privacy, security, and parental controls. They did have a data breach in 2020 where 300,000 accounts were compromised and attackers gained access to users personal information, including date of birth and email addresses. That's not great.

It’s also good to be aware that while Nintendo doesn't sell your data to third parties, they do say they can share your data with some third parties for things such as advertising, which is pretty normal. They also say they may collect information about you from other sources, including sources that sell information. And if you log into your social media through your Nintendo, they say they may collect information from these third parties. Finally, some of the games you play on the Switch made by other companies might be collecting and sharing your data, so keep an eye on that. Overall we're not too worried about Nintendo. Still, it’s always good to opt-out of data sharing when you can.

Tips to protect yourself

mobile Privacy warning Security A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: Yes

App: Yes

Microphone

Device: No

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: Yes

App: No

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

Nintendo says it does not sell your personal information to third parties. When you play games offered through other companies on the platform, you may share your data with those third parties.

How can you control your data?

You can request that your data be deleted.

Personal information will be retained only for so long as reasonably necessary for the purposes set out in the privacy policy, in accordance with applicable laws.

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Needs Improvement

In April 2020, 300,000 Nintendo accounts were compromised in a data breach which granted the attackers access to users personal information, including date of birth and email addresses.

Can this product be used offline?

Yes

User-friendly privacy information?

No

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Uses encryption in transit and at rest.

Strong password

Yes

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Nintendo has a bug bounty program, which means that anyone who finds a security issue and discloses it responsibly may get paid. https://hackerone.com/nintendo

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

Can’t Determine

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

Can’t Determine

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Can’t Determine


News

How to Manage PlayStation, Switch, and Xbox Privacy Settings
New York Times
Like other always-connected devices, including phones and TVs, the Sony PlayStation 5, Microsoft Xbox Series X and S, and Nintendo Switch all gather data and share your various activities with your friends—and advertising partners.
Nintendo Switch: How to Turn Off Data Sharing via Google Analytics
Gadgets 360
With the latest software update, your Nintendo Switch has been sharing your player data via Google Analytics.
How to Stop Nintendo From Sharing Your eShop Data With Google Analytics
Lifehacker
Like many tech companies, Nintendo tracks eShop data with Google Analytics, but users can easily opt-out.
Nintendo now says 300,000 accounts breached by hackers
TechCrunch
Nintendo has almost doubled the number of user accounts compromised by hackers in the past few months. The Japanese gaming giant originally said that 160,000 Nintendo accounts were compromised, exposing personal information like the account owner’s name, email address, date-of-birth and their country of residence. In an updated statement, the company said another 140,000 Nintendo accounts had been compromised.
Nintendo Breach: Now 300,000 Accounts Affected
Infosecurity Magazine
Nintendo has added another 140,000 accounts to those it claimed were compromised by hackers from April this year, bringing the total to 300,000.
Nintendo data breach reportedly caused by credential stuffing
TechRepublic
Attackers used an account checker tool to identify Nintendo accounts with compromised and vulnerable login credentials, says SpyCloud.
Nintendo 2FA: How to enable two-factor authentication on your Nintendo Switch account
Games Radar
How to protect your Nintendo account from data breaches with two-factor authentication
Open letter: Nintendo’s commitment to privacy on AR developments
Access Now
We are writing to you in light of the recently announced launch of ​Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit designed in partnership with Velan Studios, which could have serious implications for the privacy of our homes and the protection of our personal data.
The Nintendo Switch Camera: Where It Is and How Does It Work?
Lifewire
While you won’t notice a camera lens on the front or back of the actual Nintendo Switch console, there is one — or two! — lurking on the Joycon controllers. Each motion-sensing controller includes an infrared (IR) camera at the bottom. It doesn’t look like a camera, again it's not a traditional lens, but you’ll notice it from the black spots located at the bottom.
How to Boost Your Game Console’s Security
Lifehacker
No matter your game console, you need to add a passcode and two-factor authentication. You can do it either through your Web browser or on the console itself. Sorry, but you’re out of excuses of why you haven’t secured your account from people looking to steal your personal information.

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