Tuesday, 28 May 2013 11:02

Microsoft’s Xbox One Continuously Records User Information and Sends It Back Home

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If Microsoft is thinking that the Xbox One is just going to fly off the shelves and take over our living rooms they might have a nasty surprise in store for them. Despite the many positive features and aspects of the Xbox One there are some concerns (and complaints) from gamers, consumers, and now even privacy groups.

Now you might want to know why privacy would be a concern with a new gaming console. Well you see the new Kinect, that is an integral part of the Xbox One, records all sorts of information about the user and then sends that back to Microsoft (pronounce that Azure) for processing. The Kinect is a vital part of the Xbox One as it brings in the voice and gesture controls that Microsoft showed off during the launch event. What no one really expected (and Microsoft was not all the forthcoming about this) is that while you are sitting there watching TV, Playing a game or simply in the field of view for the Kinect you are being recorded. If this seems a little creepy to you then you are not alone. Even with the current Kinect there have been concerns about the security of the system and the possibility that someone could use it to record a user without their knowledge or permission.

Why Microsoft needs this information, what they want to do with it, and even how long they plan to keep it is unclear. However this is a fairly serious concern for many people simply because it is something that you cannot opt-out of. The system records the data continuously and streams it back without the user being about to stop the collection, view the data collected, or delete the data. Even unplugging your console from the internet is not going to stop it as you have to connect periodically to renew your license for the games you own; when you do the system will simply upload the data then (according to the information we have at the time of this article).

Right now only the German data protection commissioner has weighed in and is asking Microsoft about this, but we expect others to follow as this data collection represents a serious intrusion into the right to privacy in your own home. Microsoft will have to address this or they will take a big hit on sales, I do not know many people that will want to be constantly recorded by their game console and trust Microsoft with their data. At least with Google Glass you can ask the person to take it off; with the Xbox One, as long as it is powered on you are being recorded…

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Read 2420 times Last modified on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 11:07

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