Microsoft confirms privacy policy for Xbox One

Kinect can be paused during games and entertainment; system will seek user permission before sharing personal data.

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Late last month, Germany's federal data protection commissioner, Peter Schaar, likened the Xbox One to a "monitoring device". Since revealing its new home console, Microsoft has attempted to allay fears from consumers that the unit may watch and listen to them at all times, saying it could be completely turned off. Today, the software giant revealed official information on how the device will operate, and what it will do with personal data.

The initial setup for the console will allow users to toggle whether they want to automatically sign in, and will provide the chance to customise their privacy settings. "When Xbox One is on and you're simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded," the FAQ page reads.

Users will be able to manually pause the Kinect as desired when playing games or viewing live television, but some features will need the system to work. When powered off, the console will activate only when hearing key terms. This feature can also be disabled completely.

"If you don't want the Kinect sensor on while playing games or enjoying your entertainment, you can pause Kinect. To turn off your Xbox One, just say 'Xbox Off.' When the system is off, it's only listening for the single voice command--'Xbox On'--and you can even turn that feature off, too. Some apps and games may require Kinect functionality to operate, so you'll need to turn it back on for these experiences."

Microsoft also outlined two specific examples of the camera system collecting personal details. In one, your fitness workout could use the Kinect to track your heart rate and calories burned; while in the other, players may be able to use facial expressions to fool opponents while playing card games. The company stressed that all captured information would be under the control of the user.

"You can play games or enjoy applications that use data, such as videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate, and more, but this data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission."

Lastly, with the Kinect camera in a pause state, Microsoft claims that players will be able to take full control of the system using the standard Xbox controller, or a compatible mobile device.

"While it's faster to find what you're looking for using your voice and gesture commands with Kinect, you can use a controller, your remote controls, or your smart devices instead. And you can use all of these devices when Kinect is paused."

Microsoft today also confirmed that the Xbox One will require 24-hour check-ins and that fees associated with preowned games will be decided by the game's publisher.

Discussion

1380 comments
CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

Regardless of whatever the whole rationale behind the "Always On Unless You Figure Out How To Turn It Off" camera is.... it IS rather creepy.

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

The Kinect thing seems like it is related to pride..... they keep PUSHING and PUSHING kinect.... I've never had the slightest interest in it; I used the Wii enough to kinda get over the whole "motion control" thing.... which in its current form I see as somewhat on a gimmick.  They had a chance early on (MSFT)... Kinect sales were really high but they never made enough good content for it.  Now they seem to be doubling down... forcing XBone owners to pay for the extra Kinect hardware off the bat.... REGARDLESS of if they have the slightest interest or not.  It's like someone high-up has a really big stake in the Kinect professionally, or is just crazy infatuated with the thing, and is trying to "will" the public at large into using the thing.  It seems to be a case of "I'm the smartest guy in the room and I know what's best, and I KNOW that Kinect will be used by everyone ever once they are exposed to it."  I dunno.... as a long-term Xbox and 360 user I've jumped ship to Sony..... it's funny: they haven't even done anything... they just avoided shooting themselves in the foot OVER and OVER and OVER. 

rogerjak
rogerjak

I have a question : Imagine I can't play for like a month and I don't login in once, what will happen? My XOne turns into a brick?

Cammyz
Cammyz

From someone who thought M$ could do no wrong....to someone who will never touch another peice of m$ hardware, was quite a quick transition. Not looking forward to the supposed crappiness of PS network but at least Sony listen to their consumers, maybe it'll get decent one day.

Was a major M$ fanboi, sure i'll lose my 120k gscore but at least i wont feel like i've bought a black box of DRM.

DbzJohno
DbzJohno

I'll stick with my controller thank you very much.


feryl06
feryl06

It seems like when MS gaming group gathered together to make the X1, they asked themselves, "How can we piss off and confuse the gaming populace and hardcore MS supporters?"  

feryl06
feryl06

Can't wait til this is hacked and we'll see reports of a hacker watching another person without them knowing...It's just a matter of time...

noladem504
noladem504

MS has been archiving and distrubuting customer data since 06 to the government. They were the first to sign on to PRISM. This entire device is built to kick their data collection into overdrive.

Google: PRISM

grbolivar
grbolivar

You: "Xbox, let's play Battlefield 4!".

Xbox: "Sorry I can't do that, present your credentials and driver's licence on the Kinect camera so we can check you own the game.... meanwhile I can play yesterday's Big Bang Theory episode if you want...."

Foppe
Foppe

My Kinect will record a friends face that look at something else while I play some poker, now that's what I call a pokerface!

sexyeyes79
sexyeyes79

I don't know about you guys but my Kinect will be set up inside my toilet bowl for an all access view.  An asshole for a bunch of Assholes!

Davhut
Davhut

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Paranoia is rife in the gaming world today.  This seems to be a mirror reflection of the real world, with the latest info coming out of Washington and London on Prism.  Whoo hoo Big Brother I love you. You can watch me anytime coz I ain't go nothing to hide baby.  Yeah !!!!!!!!!  Camera's on every street in the cities, monitoring of all media devices hey whats the problem folks, its already happening.  Oh sorry, you might be doing something naughty when you should be playing games. Oh I get it.  Stop over reacting and wait to see what all this befuddling info really means.  Don't go rushing out to buy until you have fully assessed the info. Oh yeah.  They're watching you!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lol.

MagneticFusion
MagneticFusion

..."it’s only listening for the single voice command--'Xbox On'"

Which means that it listens to EVERYTHING and then PARSES the "Xbox On" words from what ever you said. It must, by definition, hear everything you say. Unless I can DISCONNECT the Kinect completely from the Xbone, then I'm not buying one. Ah, damn you M$. After all this time of dreaming up nice thoughts about the next Xbox and you give us this?

We finally get to see the PS4 today! YOU made me a Sony convert, M$! What do you think about that? :)

bigbert
bigbert

If people buy the xbone they are under a rock or cant comprehend... Period.  With all the latest announcements(majornelson.com) I think Sony will clean up last. If M$ sticks to the used game policy and selling they are done. If sony welcomes it game over #xbone!

waggs
waggs

Microsoft says, "When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded,"

Why all the qualifiers?  Why could they only garuntee it won't upload/record a "simple conversation"?  What about a conversation involving bombs, or xbox, or netflix.

Wouldn't have been a more legally sweeping statement to say "Neither Microsoft nor Xbox One will ever upload any data it collects on you, ever.  The only data on you it collects and uploads regards your gamer score and achievement list.  Also, we apologize for our role in PRISM and will stop selling your personal information."




obsequies
obsequies

who cares, it's a pos just like MS

Subcritical
Subcritical

I'd never let this thing anywhere near my family.  

Jebril
Jebril

Most webcams can be turned on without a light or anything being shown, webcams on laptops connected to a compromised Wifi network for example can be hacked into without any indication. I've seen it happen, so I wouldn't trust anything M$ says, if the Kinect 2.0 is connected and has an internet connection, it can be hacked into.

Iamshmee
Iamshmee

If I were to get one, I'd have to do some hard mods and install kill switches on the camera and mic on that piece of crap cause you can't trust a global conglomerate to tell you they aren't going to spy on you with a device that's perfect for it.

Legend002
Legend002

Unless Sony also does the 24 hours check up crap, they currently are holding my money hostage. =P

Coolspot18
Coolspot18

The draconian DRM will be the undoing of the Xbox One. I hope all gamers realize that the new policies are quite unfair and opt for other choices.

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

I think I'll upgrade my PC instead !!! 

tsubzero81
tsubzero81

DO NOT PURCHASE THE SHITBOX ONE. Sony or Nintendo will be getting my hard earned money. LMAO so basically Microsoft thinks they can tell all gamers hey we just want you to pay 60 bucks for a game that you really dont own your just renting it for a long time. Complete BS. FU MS. Ohh and now Microsoft is your parol officer.

adupuis
adupuis

i am still not buying it. what person goes away for a week there xbox off all that time i wont able play games i brought anymore. because its over 24 hour check

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I'm sorry, the Kinect being a requirement still doesn't make sense to me. Especially if a person doesn't even plan on playing any Kinect games. That shouldn't be a necessity for a console to run. That is ridiculous and a bad business strategy. MS wanting to include Kinect with every console is fine, but it being required in order to play games? C'mon son.

zintarr
zintarr

"the console will only activate when hearing key terms"

Baby...faster.

XBOX One turns on and the sickos at MS get a show with the Kinect Camera.

HomieHesAKlown
HomieHesAKlown

"Microsoft today also confirmed that the Xbox One will require 24-hour check-ins" and kinect must always be plugged in.

Trashware.

100proofsoco
100proofsoco

If I can't turn it off, I'm not buying one. Period.


I don't need an invader in my home monitoring me.

kaim86
kaim86

Yea cuz Ms gives 2 shats what your doing in your living room.

poseidion
poseidion

@rogerjak I completely agree. And If I don't want the Kinect working in ANY way, can I use the console if the Kinect is not connected? I'm still going for the PS4 atm.

lifesavers2
lifesavers2

@feryl06All software and hardware exploits of the current and future hardware require read/write permissions of the chip that handles POSTing.  Network users do not have any write and very little read permissions for anything.  Moreover, the permissions are likely handled by the Hypervisor, which requires you to have leveled write permissions to take control.  Therefore, you must attach a physical device to flash chips inside the console in order to 'hack' it.  If you can hack someone's Xbox, you just broke into their house and had enough time to set up 20 hidden cameras.  

Tl;dr No Xbox One will run unauthorized software from a remote location for a VERY, VERY long time.  By very, I mean 20+ years.  Sorry for the long post.

noladem504
noladem504

Exactly, peoplewho dont understand that are stupid or in denial. Why would I want to trust one of the largest corps in the world with that kind of power? Ive been a loyal xbl man for almost six years, not any more.

lifesavers2
lifesavers2

@Jebril The Kinect accesses the internet through the Hypervisor.  The only way to retrieve this data is to push a command from a server imitating the MS network.  That's easy, but in order to forge the command, you'd need to load a small string of code onto the Xbox One.  Now, the 360 checks the CRC of every game disk, media file, internet command, the operating system, the NAND, the CPU key, the CPU Cache, the RAM data, and much more high level information upon creation, modification, and every few minutes.  Do you think code can get past that?  No.  It's definitely not plausible on the largest of scales.

DangerousDiz
DangerousDiz

@adupuis I'm pretty sure the xbone would only require you to log on online to be able to continue playing games again. Although I'm a PS-Head and proud of it, this is pretty standard practice when I play games anyway. But for those times when you want to or have to be offline it would mean not being able to play games over 24hrs from last log in. So you wouldn;t be able to take it away from your internet connection or any other stable one for longer than 24hrs if you want to, then use it offline. It's just a not needed requirement in my book and I cant really see what it benefits M$ anyway. It protects the producers of games I guess. But the current model works, and if your're (the producers) finding that you are losing profits because of something thats happening in the consumer world, then the producers that need to change their tactics without imposing restrictions on a working consumer market. The market is fluid don't confine what can be achieved with some greedy rules.

Retroact1ve
Retroact1ve

@SavoyPrime EXACTLY my man. Its common sense, if a person never used kinect games at all... why make it a requirement as its not that far embedded into the system. In this article it even states almost all voice features can be turned 'completely off' and that the kinect can "be turned completely off"... if that is so HOW DOES THE XBOX KNOW THE KINECT IS EVEN PLUGGED IN? Completely off is not power still flowing to a webcam otherwise it can be software switched on and you'd never know. Completely off means in a way that the system wouldnt even know its plugged in. 


Nope they want it always kinected and it can be woke up software wise, because they needed to guarantee they can open up that targeted ad revenue stream and ad software that can tell your emotions while watching ads tags other factors during the course of the use of the system and then sends get thin ads to sad people and other things to that affect. Its millions worth of advertising money.

asendedtrunks
asendedtrunks

@SavoyPrime I'm pretty sure it would be up to the makers of the game to decide if their game was a kinect only game. It isn't forced for all games.

MagneticFusion
MagneticFusion

@Brotelho AGREED. I can't f______ stand Kinect. I hated it on 360 and I hate it even more on this Xbone.


WE GET TO SEE THE PS4 TODAY! WOO!

feryl06
feryl06

I'm not tech savvy at all but with technology, you never know. I've read about hackers using people's desktop/laptop webcam to spy in on families without them knowing. No such thing as fool proof when technology is involved. Like I said, I'm not tech savvy, but I'm sure those same people who said it couldn't be done realize it can.

one1zero0one
one1zero0one

@noladem504 You seriously think that they would even for a small amount of time get away with recording conversation and video without full disclosure and consent, if at all.

Secondly yes, it would have to process everything it "hears" for the keywords, but this isn't the same as recording large strings data. 

Take the tin foil hats off boys, no ones forcing you to buy it. 

And nobody is "stupid" for not knowing the technicalities of voice recognition software.

No doubt you both have smart phones you use daily, do you suspect they are always listening and watching your every movement too, no.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

@Retroact1ve I'm not even gonna bother with this system man. There is just too much bulls*** going on with it.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

@asendedtrunks It ain't even about the Kinect being with the system. It's about the Kinect being required to be connected in order to use the damn thing at all.

kaim86
kaim86

Yea its a conspiracy

jsjle9
jsjle9

@lifesavers2 @feryl06 

Except that MS confirmed that there is a Windows based kernal running on the XBone alongside the xbox software.  (running basically everything that isn't gaming related)

Now take into account how many times have there been reports of Windows based security flaws allowing outside users to basically take over a system and you can realize it is not as secure as you make it out to be.

lifesavers2
lifesavers2

@feryl06 The PC is an open platform - anyone can code for it.  The Xbox is a different story; you can only run code if Microsoft digitally signs your software.  It's so much harder that it's not even an option.

jimdotbeep
jimdotbeep

@kaim86 Did you not read the article on THIS WEBSITE about the Patent Microsoft filed for about "TV achievments that would allow the "XBOX ONE" to make sure your watching the comercials when you watch TV.

Think about it if Facebook thinks our "likes" can be sold to market reaserch people why wouldn't those same market reasearch people not want to watch and listen to us through the Kinect 2