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.
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?