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Privacy Data and Gaming: Why Gaming Privacy Policies are Unreadable

With 2.7 billion people owning at least one gaming console, VPNoverview has started the ultimate battle for gamers, by revealing which console has the worst privacy policy by measuring the readability and length of each policy. As well as exposing the worst terms.

The study ranked each privacy policy on the following:

  • Reading Level
  • Difficulty 
  • Words per sentence 
  • Syllables Per Word 
  • Overall readability score

The Worst Gaming Privacy Policies for Readability 

RankDomainReading LevelDifficultyWords per SentenceSyllables per WordOverall Readability score
1XboxCollege GradVery Difficult26.281.8226.1
2NintendoCollege grad Very Difficult23.701.8426.7
3Wizards Of The CoastCollegeDifficult18.741.7233.66
4PlayStationCollege StudentDifficult 22.371.7833.96

XBOX Collects More Data on Kids Than Parents May Think

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With Xbox stating that their consoles are appropriate for children aged 7 and up, why does the privacy policy require a reading age of a college graduate? VPNoverview found that this privacy policy would take you 22 minutes to read completely, but with 26 words per sentence and a readability score of 26.1. This isn’t an easy read. 

NINTENDO’S PRIVACY POLICY ALLOWS ACTIVITY TRACKING

Data Xbox CollectWhat this means
Name and contact dataXbox collects your address, phone number and ‘’similar contact data’’ but fails to mention what that data is…
Payment dataXbox stores your credit/ debit card number as well as your sort and security code!
Location data.Not only your IP address, but Xbox also store your GPS code and also your postcode…

Nintendo’s Privacy Policy Allows Activity Tracking

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Nintendo’s privacy policy ranked 2nd for the most unreadable gaming privacy policy, with 23.70 words per sentence and a readability score of 26.7 their privacy policy requires a college graduate to understand any of the data terms included. 

Estimated to have 87 million annual users. Gamers should be aware that if they consent to Nintendo’s terms without reading the privacy policy, they allow Nintendo to track their activity.

What terms should you be aware of?

TERMWhat does this mean?
Location Information Nintendo has access to users’ precise location, they specify that this is to ‘’help you establish relationships with other users’’ But if this was to enter the wrong hands, this could pose a serious threat. 
Your ContentNintendo collect users’ text, images, audio, video, nickname and user icon. When they upload this to Nintendo. But fail to mention why this is collected and how long it’s stored.
Payment Information Payment information, such as your credit card number, account authentication information, and contact information like your billing and shipping address.
HealthWith your consent, we may collect certain health information such as the number of steps taken or distance walked. 

Wizard of the Coast Collects Voice Data

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Wizards Of The Coast ranked worse than the gaming console Playstation in this study. Despite only having to be 13 to play the game, this privacy policy is unreadable for users without the reading level of a college student. The privacy policy got a readability score of 33.66 and has on average 18 words per sentence. 

Privacy experts at VPNoverview have warned that “gamers should be cautious that Wizards Of The Coast fail to specify how long video data is kept. You can disable your camera using the game’s settings to prevent video data from being collected.”

What data do they collect?

Policy TermsData they collect
Video DataIf you activate the camera, we will only access and collect video through the camera, we may use non-video data collected in connection with your use of the camera for additional purposes such as data analytics and improving our internal ad servers. 
Voice DataVoice processing technologies collect audio through the microphone on your device to effectuate an instruction or request by you. We only maintain the audio long enough to complete your instruction or request and immediately delete it.

Playstation Has a Readability Score of 33.96

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This study revealed that Playstation ranked 59th out of 100 privacy policies. Meaning that Playstation’s privacy policy is fairly solid and accessible for readers, with a readability score of 33.96 and 23 words per sentence. A deeper search into the terms of the privacy policy revealed some concerning terms on data collection.

Data PlayStation collect What this means 
Registration or Network account Name, Email, physical address, country and phone number. Credit card details and billing address. 
Network Identifiers IP Address, your current and recent locations. 

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