US: Nintendo Switch now sends data to Google (unless you turn it off)

Nintendo - Google - Switch

The topic of data-sharing has been hot in recent years as more people become hyper-aware of their online privacy. US-based tech giant Google has been especially roped into these talks due to its now-infamous level of data tracking. What does it have anything to do with the Switch, though? The system doesn’t even have a browser for you to input a Google search into. Well, it looks like Nintendo and Google still have a link. And in the latest firmware update for the Switch (11.0.0), that link is automatically turned on.

What happens is that Nintendo has implemented the Google Analytics service on the eShop. This is probably to track the amount of traffic and other relevant data. If you don’t fancy being apart of this incognito survey, then you’ll have to manually go into your account settings and turn off the “Google Analytics Preferences” option. By the looks of it, this is only relevant to shoppers in the US. European shoppers have policies like GDPR which prevents data collection of Internet users without their initial consent. So, if you access the eShop via a North American account, then be sure to check this setting if it bothers you.

Nintendo itself does not specify exactly what data its collecting via Google Analytics, but that’s the same services that many websites use to see how many users are coming through and how long they spend on the different webpages. YouTube also uses the services for creators to see where their viewers are watching from, what devices they’re using to watch and how much time they’re actually spending viewing the content. The subscriber count is also a part of the service. So, again, Nintendo is likely tracking shopping habits and trends on the Switch eShop via Google Analytics. The Nintendo Account service even uses the Google Authenticator platform for 2-pass authentication, so it appears that Nintendo really prefers Google’s services.



A.K Rahming
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.