Whenever you buy a game through the Nintendo Switch eShop, Nintendo collects and shares your shopping data with Google analytics. Nintendo has done this for a long time, but some users may not be aware of — or comfortable with — the practice.
Why does Nintendo share your eShop data?
Now, to be clear, this isn’t all that surprising, nor is it anything to worry about. If you’ve read our previous coverage of similar data collection and sharing practices, you’ll know that there is only one reason companies do this: money. Corporations aren’t tracking you to keep tabs on, like, “thought crimes” or anything. They just want to sell you stuff, and data is a helpful way to do that.
Is Nintendo’s eShop data anonymous?
In Nintendo’s case, it uses Google Analytics to see what people are buying, downloading, and searching for on the eShop. This information is tracked anonymously, so none of your eShop data is associated with your Nintendo or your Google accounts. The eShop settings page also clearly states your eShop data is the only thing Nintendo collects and shares with Google Analytics. The company does not track any other account information or Nintendo Switch activity.
Still, even if it’s done anonymously, data collection can feel utterly inescapable and it’s weird that we’ve all been reduced to resources Nintendo, Google, and other giant businesses use to make money.
How to turn off Google Analytics data sharing on your Nintendo Switch
Luckily, your Switch console lets you turn off Google Analytics sharing if you want.
- Launch the eShop on your Nintendo Switch.
- Scroll over and select your profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen to open the Account Information screen.
- Highlight your account name, then scroll right to highlight the settings menu. Scroll down to “Google Analytics Preferences” and select “Change.”
- Highlight and select “Don’t Share” then click “Change.”
- Select “OK” on the pop-up screen confirming your changes.
- Press the “B” button to back out of the menu and return to the Account Information page and confirm that the “Google Analytics Preferences” section says “Don’t Share.”
- You can now press the “X” button or the “Home” button to close the eShop.