German commission calls out Xbox One privacy issues

Country's federal data protection commissioner Peter Schaar likens Microsoft's next-generation platform to a "monitoring device."


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Not all are pleased with the technology behind Microsoft's upcoming platform, the Xbox One. Speaking with news site Spiegel (translated by Games Industry International), Germany's federal data protection commissioner Peter Schaar likened the next-generation console to a "monitoring device."

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"The Xbox continuously records all sorts of personal information about me. Reaction rates, my learning or emotional states. [These] are then processed on an external server, and possibly even passed on to third parties," Schaar said. "Whether it be deleted ever, the person concerned cannot influence."

Privacy concerns surrounding the Xbox One were brought up immediately after Microsoft revealed that the system's built-in Kinect features an always-on standby mode that can react to users even when it is "off."

This issue was brought up to Microsoft Game Studios executive Phil Spencer, who assured gamers last week that their personal data will not be up for grabs.

"You are in control of what you want to be collected," Spencer said at the time. "Game developers will obviously enable certain features and you'll be alerted when certain things are happening. Putting the gamer in control is really important."

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