Xbox One Kinect privacy explained

New policy document says data captured through camera does not leave the console, "Expressions" data automatically destroyed at end of every session.

A new and updated Microsoft privacy policy document (via IGN) outlines how the Xbox One's Kinect camera captures data and what happens to that data once it is captured.

One new feature for Xbox One is the ability for players to sign in through Kinect facial recognition. The Kinect camera measures distances between key points on a player's' face to create a numeric value that is specific to one player.

No one would be able to look at these numbers and determine that it represents the player in question, Microsoft said. In addition, the company assured that this authentication data stays on the Xbox One and is not shared with third-parties.

Microsoft also pointed out that players are in control of photographs taken by Kinect during gameplay and whether the system captures voice commands. The Kinect can be turned off at any time, Microsoft reminded players.

For certain games and apps, like Xbox Fitness, the Kinect will track skeletal movements to determine exercise statistics. Players can determine how these data points are managed and if they want them to be shared outside of the console.

The Xbox One Kinect privacy document also touches on the system's new "Expressions" capability, which allows players to use a defined facial expression to control or influence a game. According to Microsoft, this data "does not identify you," stays on the local console, and is "destroyed" once a session ends.

In the case of the Xbox One's new GameDVR feature, during multiplayer matches, any participant can capture gameplay, which may include a player's in-game character or gamertag. However, audio chat is not recorded for GameDVR clips, Microsoft said.

GameDVR on Xbox One will have three distinct privacy settings for captured content:

  • Blocked – Not viewable by anyone, but you. Game clips don't appear in anyone else’s activity feeds.
  • Friends only – Viewable by only your friends. Game clips only appears in your friends activity feeds.
  • Everybody – Viewable by anyone; game clips appear in activity feeds for friends.

Users are free to delete game clips from their profiles at any time. In addition, parents can control sharing within the GameDVR settings. Sharing for children is automatically set to to Blocked.

Concerning voice chat through Kinect, Microsoft said, "You should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features such as voice chat, video, and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions offered through the services." Microsoft said it may monitor these communications "to the extent permitted by law," but made clear that it cannot monitor the entire service and makes no attempt to do so.

"Please note that Xbox does not listen in on Skype calls," Microsoft said.

In the "Children and Parental Consent" tab in the Xbox One privacy statement, Electronic Arts, Xseed Games, and Disney Interactive are listed as third-parties that may collect personal information, though the extent to which they may do so is unclear.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

345 comments
69ingChimpmunks
69ingChimpmunks

Who honestly uses their kinect? I bought mine for 100 bucks and I've used it about a dozen times before putting it back in the box. When I get the Xbox One, I keep the Kinect in the box or sell it unless it's mandatory that I have it set up and connected.

tightwad34
tightwad34

Just don't be bullshitting otherwise you will more than likely have a lot of lawsuits to deal with.

brad12d3
brad12d3

So let me get this straight, a good portion of people carry around phones and tablets that have two wide angle cameras facing front and back so they almost always have a near 360 view of wherever they are, plus pretty much every laptop has a camera these days. These gadgets go into the bathroom, the bedroom, and are pretty much around for some pretty private moments and yet........ people are in a panic and the media is in a frenzy over a single camera that will sit on top of your TV and about the most private moment it will catch is you passing gas on your couch because you at too much junk food. 


I really can't figure out if the people complaining about privacy are just trolling or they really have no idea how tech works. The fact remains that Sony most likely as identical privacy policies yet somehow only MS is in the wrong. The truth is that we are already having info gathered on us all the time by our phones and computers. An Xbox One isn't going to be any worse than any of the gadgets you already own. 


Get a grip people.

NaturallyEvil
NaturallyEvil

Don't worry, the privacy invasion and data selling will become available "shortly after launch".

Neo_OnionKnight
Neo_OnionKnight

Wait, wait, wait, Xbox live has recently buffed it's power to collect some user information for other parties...This new agreement sounded like it applied to other features even remotely related to the console - meaning maybe even kinect. Is this information in line with the new Live agreement? Or is MS casting rainbows in front of thunderstorms....Again.

sakaixx
sakaixx

unplug the kinect and all is fine microsoft said we can do that so no need to go paranoid unless kinect can still record without needed to be plugged that is valid to go paranoid lol ! That aside , now the main problem here is why you have to cash extra 100 bucks for stuff you don't need and then another problem , why would you buy an underpowered console that can't play 1080p properly on top of crap windows like OS ? better buy WII U atleast you get extra second screen and remote play ;-)

snacky_smorez
snacky_smorez

I still do not understand then why they want to force kinect on their customers. A lot more people would buy this of they sold the console without it.

Kyrylo
Kyrylo

You have to be brain-dead to believe this. IT's like cute pink-glassed people, that thinking that surfing through internet is safe and private. 

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

M$: Future Updates for the PRISM project are available trough digital download. :P

Chizaqui
Chizaqui

That is the sound of numerous tin-foil hats being removed at once ;)

sortajan
sortajan

the NSA knows about the tiny mole on the inside of my asshole, what the fuck do i care if microsoft sees me fap?

randomkidlol
randomkidlol

Microsoft doesnt need to record this information. People who want to hack the console and get all of this precious data will do so anyways regardless of what you say.

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

The Iluminatis are really infiltrating the game industry, first with indie games, now with Kinect.

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

i find it kind of pointless to say this now when 85% of people (probably) have already made up their mind with all the stupid stunts that MS have tried to pull. MS are not worthing of giving or receiving trust from the people. MS you have dirtied your image too much and a lot of respect you once had is practically gone. 

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

I never doubted it. I never expected the Kinect to measure my eyebrow movement and then beam advertisements for the new JML Eyebrow massager to my console.

People just like to talk out their ass.

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

Its strangely quiet on here today at leasts its better than the same article on IGN where the M$ PR department has taken up residence and is subtly suggesting to us through the medium of the like button that we're all a bunch of overreacting, paranoid, whining, peasants. Thanks Microsoft I'll bare that you said that in mind !   

rjh00
rjh00

@brad12d3

You sir, Are a moron. 

We carry around phones, yes, but most of the time it's in our pockets, if advertisers want to use the inside of my pocket to target me with ads then by all means, they can do it if they want. Only mid-high end phones have two back and front camera. Also have you ever even used a phone? Your acting as if the way we use phones is by holding it  in front of us pointed at our face/body the whole time, Most of the time, back camera are facing the ground, The front camera at the most is getting a part of our forehead and the rest sky. Now if you want to tell me that's the same, then your an even bigger moron then I gave you credit for.


I know it's a LAPtop but very few people have it on their lap while they are in bed, now if you want to tell me it's on a dresser, I'm pretty sure most people shut the screen of the laptop when it's not being used. So unless the camera is on the edge of the laptop, there isn't much it's going to get.


You have your laptop in the bathroom? (See above for the bedroom part). Oh you mean phones, your telling me your using your phone while your doing private stuff? I think having your privacy invaded is the least of your problems.


People are panicked and some would say for good reason. Hello NSA?Can you stop using the Kinect to spy on me please?I asked MS but they won't do anything about it.The media isn't in a frenzy over this. In fact besides technical websites, the media is under-reacting horribly over this.


No, I'm pretty sure most people don't have the console in the living room, especially not these days anymore. Most kids and teens have the consoles in their room with their personal television. Now I don't know about you but I don't like the idea of MS spying on kids to sell them ads. For the rest, most people also have their console in their bedroom, unless it's like a family thing. So yeah, MS will have a front row seat into everything that happens in the bedroom. Imagine that a  brand new wave of Viagra ads right on your television screen.


Who cares what Sony's policies are?The fact is, they didn't try to force a camera on us, they do have a camera, but the console doesn't magically become useless if you decided to not connect the camera. So at least with sony you can choose when you want to be "spied" on and the console doesn't become a brick when you want some privacy.


I can choose to put some tape over my phones camera and while it will be a pretty horrible camera, I would still be able to use it to make phone-calls. Are you seriously that stupid? Do you not realized the difference between spying on what sites you visit and what you do with your computer and having a open view into your house?


The fact that we are not allowed to disconnect the object and choose to never having to use it anymore IS worse then any gadget we have right now.


Good day to you sir.

xolivierx
xolivierx

@brad12d3 WRONG

1)My phone is always in a pouch, which is mosty inside my pant's pocket.

2) I only have one camera(again, cell is in the pouch OR facing at the ceiling when on a desk

3) wifi disabled

sakaixx
sakaixx

@snacky_smorez then xbox one loses its novelty factor ,some people including me like the technology behind it (not the spybox part though) . minus kinect all you get is a hugely underpowered console that can barely play 1080p launch games in contrast to its competitor ( racing n sports title uses static background thats why it can go 1080p 60fps no problem)

tysandsnyc
tysandsnyc

@randomkidlol Corrections.  People can hack all devices, including cell phones, computers, laptops, etc.  If it has a cam, it can be hackable.  It's not just the XBOX ONE, please.

ZombieGuyGeorge
ZombieGuyGeorge

@Diegoctba where will they stop? world domination hahahahah yeeah you wish! it's just a myth tha'ts been alive for centuries and just present in every hollywood movie, every tv program, mainstream music , religion, society, economy, or for short, any activity, BUT, and that's a big but, but nothing beyond that. honest. the truth will make you free.

tysandsnyc
tysandsnyc

@neowarrior121 What does one has to do with the other?  Pre-orders aren't the end all, be all of a system.  XBO still has an in-store audience it can cater to that will buy their console on a whim.  Pre-orders is never the death of a system, but overall quarterly sales can be.  See Nintendo Wii U for details.

mdrieber
mdrieber

@neowarrior121 yeah the same EXACT... literally EXACTLY the same as the ps4 except with the kinect because Sony had to trash the ps eye just to cut the price therefore knowing no one would buy it and not having to worry about addressing the stupid, immature NSA and dumb shit comments all these kids come up with

ZombieGuyGeorge
ZombieGuyGeorge

@Dannystaples14 people talk out of their ass. and all they say is shit. wait, the ass has languages? i've never heared an accent in a  fart, maybe kinect will undesrtand my accent if i fart the thing to death :D universal language, baby :D frrrfffpppfprpfpfprpprpfpfprpf kinect fffpprprprprpfpfpfpfprpprrrrrrr

Slagar
Slagar

@Dannystaples14 I never expected the Kinect to measure my monobrow movement, and then beam advertisements for Brazilian wax services.

bbq_R0ADK1LL
bbq_R0ADK1LL

@rjh00 @brad12d3 While your privacy concerns are valid, do you really think M$ are going to stream HD video out without you noticing the extra data going out? Nor does the Xbone have enough spare processing power to downscale a live stream of HD video.

This is no 1984 telescreen. There are plenty of good reasons not to buy an Xbone, but I think you are overestimating what it can actually do. The fact that a product you have to pay to use advertises to you at all, regardless of whether those ads are personalised or not, is probably a fairly good reason to avoid it though.

tysandsnyc
tysandsnyc

@sakaixx @snacky_smorez Actually, the XBox One is not underpowered, at all, compared to the PS4.  It's already been proven that the XBO is equal to power to the PS4 minus a slight graphical advantage that the PS4 has.  Very very minor.

snacky_smorez
snacky_smorez

I understand there are people that like the kinect but why not offer a version without it and a version with it for buyers like yourself? They would sell far more consoles.

sakaixx
sakaixx

@mdrieber @randomkidlol you'd be suprised how easy xbox 360 got hacked , the reason why so many pirated DVDs made to the console 

tysandsnyc
tysandsnyc

@mdrieber  I kinda blame Microsoft for that one though.  They allowed Sony to have an advantage over them, instead of showing and demonstrating why these features are necessary for the XBO.  Their PR was horrible at the Reveal and at E3.

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

@neowarrior121 @de-astroturfer It doesn't help when the comments section on gamespot is broken either, the like on the top comment section has been broken since the site reopened and now likes in general are disappearing we're flying blind here ;)

rjh00
rjh00

@bbq_R0ADK1LL @rjh00 @brad12d3  

I have no idea what the XO will be able to send back to it's master, but that's not the point. MS has themself said that they will be using SOME stuff, so it's obvious they would be getting something useful.

I'm not paranoid about the XO, it's more of a principle. I really am not okay with what they tried to pull and we have to not forget that it's MS we are talking about, they are not exactly the nicest company out there. I was also mostly pointing out brad's mistakes, which seems to think that just because we have smartphones and computers that we shouldn't think twice about the XO privacy concerns.

I personally think that MS will use the camera more on the side of spying then privacy (So in the balance of Spying vs Privacy I think MS is more likely to use the to "improve" your experience then they would be about just leaving you alone, not saying they will be full blown 200% spying on us, but rather things will probably be closer to the middle but a little skewed on the spying side)  and I in turned choose to be safe rather then risk being sorry.

tysandsnyc
tysandsnyc

@ZombieGuyGeorge @tysandsnyc @sakaixx @snacky_smorez But Forza 5, a car racer, is 1080P.  Blame the devs for that, not XBOX.

snacky_smorez
snacky_smorez

It's not about their confidence it is about them forcing kinect. There are plenty of people on here that say they would buy it if kinect wasn't mandatory. So there must be many times more that would buy if kinect wasn't required. What does it add to the console?

sakaixx
sakaixx

@snacky_smorez   cause its too late to give up , at this stage if they suddenly said that they probably will get bashed cause they have no confidence in their machine

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

@neowarrior121 @de-astroturfer Lol I do like to know what people are and aren't liking to get a feel for general opinion, I hope they sort it out soon my interest in the comments section is waining ;)

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

@de-astroturfer @neowarrior121 true i had the most likes in one of these new stories (i think it was from the start 23 likes) and when i checked top comment (i checked that i was top first) there was no likes at all (though i was top comment), the next day all my likes were gone i checked and nobody had near my amount and now not top comment i wasn't even in the top like 7 (btw i had another 20 likes while i was sleeping too).