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Nintendo leak traced to Google employee viewing private YouTube video

It's unclear if leakers are still getting information through these means.

Published onJune 5, 2024

Nintendo Switch Header 11
Curtis Joe / Android Authority
  • A Google employee accessed private videos from Nintendo’s YouTube channel.
  • The employee leaked the information before the game company’s announcement.
  • It’s believed that some leakers are still using this method to get their information.

Earlier this week, a report came out detailing old privacy and security incidents within Google. The report covers a wide variety of employee-reported incidents that range from severe to non-issues. One of the more surprising revelations, however, was related to a Google contractor leaking a Nintendo announcement.

In the report, it’s mentioned that the temporary contractor in question accessed private videos stored on Nintendo’s YouTube account. That contractor went on to share the information with a friend who then posted it on Reddit. Within the comments, the poster attempted to confirm the veracity of the leak by stating, “My friend work at google and he send this photo to me. It’s a video that it’s already in Nintendo channel and is going to be in public after the reveal.”

The incident occurred in 2017 and involved the then-untitled Nintendo Switch game Yoshi’s Crafted World. Google reportedly reviewed the incident at that time and concluded after an internal interview that the action was “non-intentional.”

In response to the finding, industry analyst Daniel Ahmad said that he has “heard this is how a number of game leakers operate today still.” However, some leakers claim that they get their information by other means. Notable Nintendo tipster Pyoro claims they’ve been able to leak information you couldn’t get from a YouTube trailer, like price details.

It’s important to note that the incidents in the report happened six to nine years ago. Google has also responded to the story stating:

At Google employees can quickly flag potential product issues for review by the relevant teams. When an employee submits the flag they suggest the priority level to the reviewer. The reports obtained by 404 are from over six years ago and are examples of these flags—every one was reviewed and resolved at that time. In some cases, these employee flags turned out not to be issues at all or were issues that employees found in third party services.

However, it’s unknown what measures the Mountain View-based firm has put in place to prevent leaks like this from occurring again. Android Authority has reached out to Google for comment and we will update this article accordingly.

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