Xbox: Here's All Your Data That Microsoft May Share With Publishers

Microsoft says it might share your real name, where you live, and other data with publishers.

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Microsoft, like Sony before it, is taking steps to be more transparent about the data it collects from Xbox users and in detailing what circumstances it is shared with other companies. The next time you boot up your Xbox One, you may be greeted with a page that reiterates Microsoft's policies surrounding privacy and data-sharing. Multiple GameSpot staffers received the notification today, which you can read in full at the bottom of this post.

The statement explains that if you're playing an Xbox Live-enabled game or app, Microsoft might share some information about you and your play habits with the publisher of said game or app. The information that can be shared with publishers includes your country and age range, Xbox profile data such as your Gamertag and avatar, and information about how many achievements you've unlocked and how much time you've spent in a game or app. Microsoft may also share details about enforcement against your profile.

Additionally, Microsoft's statement says it may share social data information such as your "interactions and communications" with other players, though it's unclear if this is for written and verbal messages. What's more, Microsoft may give publishers your real name, if you've elected to share that information.

Microsoft went on to say that it does not control what publishers do with this information once it is shared with them. That is determined by a specific publisher's own privacy policy practices, which you can find on the Xbox store pages.

If some or all of this information sounds spooky to you, there is something you can do. You can stop sharing game or app data with publishers by revoking access either on your console or through this website for some games and apps.

Microsoft's privacy policy statement comes after a similarly worded message from Sony that was discovered following a recent update. It alerted players, at least those in Europe, about its data-collection methods. All of this comes in the wake of the massive data-sharing scandal at Facebook.

Earlier this month, Microsoft alerted fans that this data-sharing disclosure was coming. In a blog post detailing upcoming changes, the company said, "We'll also let you know about scenarios where we need to share your data with game developers, publishers, and other third parties so that you can play online." Microsoft's full privacy policy statement is below.

Xbox Data Sharing With Games And Apps:

If you use an Xbox Live enabled game (or app through your Xbox console), Microsoft may share information with the publisher of that game or app in order to deliver your online experiences, improve the game or app, diagnose problems, provide support, and connect you with other users.

Information we share may include:

  • limited Microsoft account data such as country and age range;
  • Xbox profile data such as user id, gamertag, gamer profile, and avatars;
  • data about your game play or app session, including achievements unlocked, time spent in the game or app, presence, game statistics and rankings, and enforcement activity about you in the game or app;
  • social data, including club memberships; friends, other users you have played with, and information about your interactions and communications;
  • data about the game or app's performance on the console, including error reports;
  • content you create, upload or share in the game, app, or within Xbox Live;
  • other data, like gamerpics and real name, that you choose to share based on your settings or by providing additional consent.

Third party game and app publishers and developers are independent controllers of this data, and their data collection, use, and sharing practices are governed by their privacy policies. Please take time to review their policies; you may find these linked from the product pages of the games or apps in the Microsoft store. For games published by Microsoft, please visit privacy.microsoft.com.

If you want to stop sharing game or app data with a publisher, remove all its games or apps from all devices where you have installed them. Some publishers' access to your data may also be revoked by visiting https://microsoft.com/consent

For more information about our privacy practices, visit privacy.microsoft.com."

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