German Data Commissioner Claims Xbox One Kinect Is A ‘Monitoring Device’

The German commissioner for data protection and freedom of information, Peter Schaar, has expressed concern over the new Xbox One’s Kinect functionality, suggesting that it is a ‘monitoring device’ over which the user has limited control.

xbox-one

Talking to Spiegel he said,

“Under the heading, game device ‘Microsoft pushes a monitoring device in the market,” Schaar told SPIEGEL. “The Xbox continuously records all sorts of personal information about me. Reaction rates, my learning or emotional states. The are then processed on an external server, and possibly even passed on to third parties. Whether they will ever deleted, the person can not influence.”

The Kinect sensor for the new Xbox One always has to be on and, in addition to being a video device, it also has a microphone that is constantly listening, waiting for commands from the user.

That sounds like a potential privacy nightmare to me, especially given that it is Microsoft who could, potentially, be gathering data but really I guess it will be ok in the end because…

“Microsoft has very, very good policies around privacy. We’re a leader in the world of privacy, I think you’ll find. We take it very seriously.”
Phil Harrison takling to Eurogamer

So nothing to worry about there I guess?

photo: netzkobold

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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  1. […] Xbox One DRM stance was, in my opinion, quite draconian in nature (and lets not even get started on the Kinect issues here). Considering that a fair proportion of console owners will be kids I thought it quite harsh […]

  2. […] I mentioned in my previous post, the German data commissioner has expressed concerns over the Xbox One’s Kinect device due to the fact that it could, in theory at least, watch and listen to everything you do. With the […]

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