Miiverse Updates Web Version UI, Personalized Ads Added In Without Warning

Nintendo has updated Miiverse once again, but this time, they have announced one disappointing, if inevitable change.

The web version of Miiverse will now have interstitial ads. This comes with tweaks to Miiverse’s UI for easier reading and navigating on mobile devices and PCs. These changes are not visible on Miiverse on Wii U and 3DS.

These ads are not as finely tuned as those found in Twitter and Facebook, and Nintendo is not offering sponsored posts or Google Ad like services, but they are personalized.

On a separate page, Nintendo explains their internet based ads policy in more detail. Their ad partners, including Google, send personalized ads, using cookies and other browser based data. You can choose to opt-out from these ads by going to the web pages for these third party partners, namely, the Network Advertising Initiative and Digital Advertising Alliance.

It should be pointed out that these partners have already been working with Nintendo. They have been collecting this data for ‘various internal functions necessary to operate our business’, and were already using this data to serve ads to users on the open web. One can argue the only real change is they are now being more transparent about these connections.

Miiverse is in many ways dissimilar to Facebook and Twitter, but as a social network owner, Nintendo has many of the same responsibilities to user privacy. That they made these changes without informing Miiverse users beforehand is already a suspicious, if not illegal action. Other corporations have made even more overreaching actions towards their users data without warning said users.

You can read more about Nintendo’s privacy policies here, but for your education, you can read the provisions on the information Nintendo collects from users below.

Information you provide to us. We collect information that you provide to us when you use our products and services or anytime you are in contact with us. Some types of information you may provide include:

  • Registration information that you may be required to provide when you sign up to use our services, including your name, address, telephone number, and email address;
  • Login information that you use to sign in to our services, such as your username and password;
  • Demographic information about you, including your age, gender, hobbies, interests, and country of residence;
  • Payment information that you submit, including your credit card number, expiration date, and credit card security code, where needed to complete a transaction you have initiated;
  • Messages, photos, videos, drawings, audio recordings and other information shared by you through the interactive features of our products and services;
  • Correspondence you send directly to us; and
  • Information you provide to us offline (through, for example, regular mail, in-person sweepstakes entry forms, and consumer service transactions such as repairs, part orders and direct purchases).

Information we collect automatically. We collect some information automatically when you use our products and services. Some types of information we collect automatically include:

  • Information about your use of our products, services and websites, including your browser type, operating system, platform, IP address, MAC address, language and region;
  • Information about websites you visited before and after visiting our websites, search queries that landed you on our websites, search queries you conducted on our websites, and pages and advertisements you viewed and links you clicked on while using our websites;
  • Information about your Nintendo device including device serial number, device ID, wireless access point, and other technical information about your device; and
  • Information about your game play, online status, use of our online services, friends and friend codes, purchases, and other information about your interactions with our products and services.

Information we receive from other sources. We may receive information about you from other sources, including through third-party services and retailers. Some examples of information we may receive from other sources include:

  • Navigation data, including websites visited and advertisements viewed or clicked;
  • Information about consumer service transactions; and
  • Purchase information.

Please note that we may add information we receive from other sources to the information we already have about you. We also may combine your information with information about other users, including game play, demographic, search term, clickstream and purchase information, and use this combined information in an aggregated format.