Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo $199 -299
Wi-Fi Bluetooth

Review date: 11/02/2020

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

Nintendo does a pretty good job with privacy, security, and parental controls. They did have a data breach earlier 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. Just be aware that while Nintendo doesn't share your data with third parties, some of the games you play on the Switch made by other companies might be collecting and sharing your data. Also. with the recent release of the new mixed reality game Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit there are some privacy concerns. The game uses a real-life car to play and that car drives all around your home, mapping it and taking pictures. Privacy watchdog Access Now has called on Nintendo to clearly state what data the game collects and how it will protect the privacy of gamers who play this game. We'll keep you posted on Nintendo's response.

Privacy

Can it snoop on me?

Camera

Device: Yes

App: Yes

Microphone

Device: No

App: Yes

Tracks Location

Device: Yes

App: No

What is required to sign up?

What data does it collect?

How can you control your data?

You can request that your data be deleted.

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

Needs Improvement

In April 2020, Nintendo 300,000 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

Security

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Strong password

Yes

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Privacy policy

Yes

Artificial Intelligence

Does the product use AI?

Unknown

Does the AI use your personal data to make decisions about you?

Unknown

Does the company allow users to see how the AI works?

Unknown

Company contact info

Updates

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.
Nintendo now says 300,000 accounts breached by hackers
Zack Whittaker
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.

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