Nintendo has been criticized for handing over user data to Facebook. One user of Nintendo online services reveals that the company showed up in a list of companies that uploaded a list containing their information before advertising to them.
On Reddit, a user named Valerokai shared a screenshot of the Ad Preferences page from their Facebook account. This page, which allows Facebook users to see their list of interests and what may affect the ads that they see, has a section called “Who uploaded a list with your info and advertised to you.” Valerokai says that the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo UK Store Facebook accounts are among these, meaning that the company has uploaded a list with their data (usually an email or phone number, says Facebook) and has advertised to them in the last seven days.
Many of the replies to the Reddit post are from unsurprised users. Nintendo likely uses the information to engage in hyper-targeting of its ads, only spending its ad money on users who it knows are interested in its goods and services, such as those with Nintendo Switch Online accounts or those who have spent money on the eShop. The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console of last year likely because of this type of marketing.
However, while the Nintendo discovery is unsurprising, it does come at a time where people are raising issues with data privacy. Epic Games had to respond to accusations that its Epic Games Store is spyware and that it sends user data to the Chinese government. It firmly denied this but some still remained wary.
What Facebook knows about you
Humble Bundle, Sony, and Bethesda have all come under fire for data breaches as well. The fact that they were unable to keep user data from getting into the wrong hands has led to some wariness over using their platforms.
There’s also the fact that Facebook allegedly holds shadow profiles, which are profiles made up of users who don’t yet use Facebook. So, the suggestion is that if Nintendo (and other companies that use Facebook for marketing) upload information to Facebook, Facebook then has access to their data whether they have an account on the platform or not.
The documents, which include emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries, show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook’s trove of user data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over companies it partnered with.
Facebook is a major part of many company’s marketing and games have integrated Facebook to give out extra rewards , for social features and for gameplay. This is unlikely to change soon but those concerned with data privacy may want to be extra careful and read those terms and conditions before signing up to anything.