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You Should Probably Check Your Nintendo Switch's Privacy Settings

Usually, console updates feature quality of life improvements that help streamline experiences and add new features. However, companies sometimes sneak in changes that displease a chunk of their audiences, which is the case with the recent Nintendo Switch update.

Several days ago, Nintendo rolled out the 11.0 update for the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite. The most immediately obvious addition is the new Nintendo Switch Online home menu button, which lets gamers check their membership status and the latest Nintendo news. The patch also includes the handy option to automatically download save data back-ups to the cloud. However, some gamers have noticed the console doesn't just routinely upload their save files — it also shares non-related data with Google, without permission no less.

Reddit user coors_girth broke the news that the 11.0 update automatically activates data sharing with Google analytics. It doesn't matter whether you previously turned the option off or not, because Nintendo is once again sending your Switch data to Google without asking you to sign off on it. Yes, again. According to coors_girth, Nintendo ushered in an update around a month ago that turned on data sharing without permission. So even if you turned the option off with the last patch, if you want to keep your data private, you need to turn it off again.

If the thought of Nintendo sharing your data concerns you, another Reddit user provided a handy guide to deactivate the option. Just visit the Nintendo eShop on your Switch, access your profile, and scroll down to Google Analytics Preferences. Change it to "Don't Share," and you're good to go.

While turning off data sharing sounds easy enough, commenter lightningpresto remarked that Switch owners with multiple accounts are in for a slog, since you can't turn off data sharing for all of them at once. If you have more than one account, you have to turn the option off for each one individually. That means logging into every account, visiting their eShop profiles, and selecting "Don't Share." To pour salt in the wound, it has been pointed out that many Reddit users have chimed in to state this issue doesn't apply to European and Australian Switch owners. Apparently, their security laws make them exempt from Nintendo going over gamers' heads.

Many Switch owners are annoyed that Nintendo decided to share their console data without asking first, and a few are questioning the legality of such a move. After Nintendo's account breaches earlier this year, Nintendo fans are likely to be more concerned with data privacy than ever. Given this past behavior, you should probably check your Switch's privacy settings after each future update, just in case Nintendo tries sharing your data again — again.