The Xbox One isn’t spying on you…promise!

EyeofSauron

Every single Xbox One sold will come bundled with a next-generation Kinect system, and it has people worried that it’ll usher in the world envisaged in George Orwell’s 1984; one where “the man” always has its eyes fixed on you. Microsoft would like to assure you that the next-generation Xbox and its next-generation Kinect aren’t next-generation surveillance systems set on destroying your privacy.


“Microsoft has very, very good policies around privacy. We’re a leader in the world of privacy, I think you’ll find,” former Sony guy and current Microsoft Games Studios vice president Phil Harrison told Eurogamer in an interview.

“We take it very seriously. We aren’t using Kinect to snoop on anybody at all. We listen for the word ‘Xbox on’ and then switch on the machine, but we don’t transmit personal data in any way, shape or form that could be personally identifiable to you, unless you explicitly opt into that.”

The thing is that it doesn’t matter whether or not they use the tech for nefarious purposes – because the potential is there – and that classes the Xbox One as a surveillance system in some territories, like Germany, Austria and Australia.

Tim Vines, director at Civil Liberties Australia told GameFix that the Xbox One meets the criteria of being a surveillance device.

"Microsoft’s new Xbox meets the definition of a surveillance device under some Australian laws, so they need to be upfront and tell customers whether anyone else can intercept their information or remotely access their device," Vines said.

Equally concerned is Berlin’s federal data protection commissioner, Peter Schaar who says the thing is more of monitoring device than it is a console.

"The Xbox One continuously records all sorts of personal information about me. My reaction rates, my learning or emotional states. These are then processed on an external server, and possibly even passed on to third parties."

"The fact that Microsoft could potentially spy on my living room is merely a twisted nightmare."

The same sort of fears surfaced with the original Kinect – but with the expanded technology in place for the next generation, it could get even worse.

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Author:Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.
  • Admiral Chief Commander

    i’ve just realised that my dayjob is looking soooo much better! imagine being the person on the other side of the onebox having to monitor and sift through the footage…

    good grief, the horror, the horror!

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Some things can never be unseen…. :o

      • Admiral Chief Commander

        agreed

    • mancera

      easy replacement for those wal-mart pic emails we always get…

    • Deon Steyn

      This guy… Be warned it’s South Park!

      • HvR

        So we put the PS4 on top of the XboxOne?

        “Seeecccuuuriteeeee alert”

      • Admiral Chief Commander

        O_O

  • Rince an repeat

    Header WIN!

  • mancera

    “we don’t transmit personal data in any way, shape or form that could be personally identifiable to you, unless you explicitly opt into that.”

    so it’s an option that you can opt into? who in their right minds????

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Something tells me, the opt out clause is like Facebook’s and hidden amongst a labyrinth of garbage in the Options menu.

      • mancera

        or there isn’t one. once you opt in, there’s no opt out.

    • Deon Steyn

      One you agree to terms and conditions goodbye privacy.

      • HvR

        Another South Park episode comes to mind…HumanCentiPad

        • Deon Steyn

          Why won’t it read!

        • That Tall Twit

          NO! The mental imagery returns.

      • Macethy

        Agreed. They will include the “we can monitor you as much as we want through Kinect” in the EULA, nobody will read it and agree to it. Otherwise you sit with a brick of console you can’t turn on.

    • Trevor Davies

      so what he’s basically saying is, “We can because it’s built in, but we won’t, because TRUST US.”

      • That Tall Twit

        Yip

  • Umar ‘No Shana’ Bastra

    My god is MS DOF???? surely they can’t be unaware of these type of things…so when they were developing this did the thought of a hacker taking over someone’s kinect never occur to them…. FCK!!!, is it now just Okay to say we aren’t going to use this in any malicious way so it’s okay … DAFUQ is wrong with MS ……

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Greed my friend. It blinds all… All they see now is the numbers. All the numbers are green. Green like ‘merican money!

      • matthurstrsa

        Green like the Xbox logo you mean… #conspiracy

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          #illuminati

          • Umar ‘No Shana’ Bastra

            NWO .. it’s beginning ! ……. Jay-Z is coming for us

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Jay-Z is watching your Masturbate… through Kinect

          • Umar ‘No Shana’ Bastra

            Watching me with those huge lips … NOOOOOOOO, I refuse to fap for him

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Fap for Mario! FAP FOR MARIO!! #thisConversationHasTakenAShockingTUrn

          • Umar ‘No Shana’ Bastra

            Chubby Italians will not see my junk! He will not have my love, not after what he did to Luigi #IDontKnowWhatImDoing

          • Guest

            Watch out JIm…………………………..

          • Umar ‘No Shana’ Bastra

            previous comment was from me lol … not a guest, weird disqus

      • Umar ‘No Shana’ Bastra

        Gosh, what’s more scary is people themselves are too blind and ignorant to realize all these things, they will just happily buy this garbage

    • Trevor Davies

      MS-DOF – their new operating system trollol

      • Admiral Chief Commander

        hehe, i can already see the posters…

  • Deon Steyn

    US cosigned the development of this as an extension to the patriot act… Or sy my friend from the Illuminati says :P

    • mancera

      #illuminati

      • Deon Steyn

        Doh. The cap I looks like lower case L

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      The facial recognition part of it scares the hell out of me. The fact that a corporation can have that, as well as your biometrics scare the crap out of me. I opt out of facebook and google’s facial recognition for that exact same reason, and even now, I don’t allow people to tag me on photos on either FB or Google +.

      • TiMsTeR1033

        Because Your an international super spy! I found you Banana Jim, I know what you did in that swimming pool. Your being watched……….

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          I never had relations with that woman…. #ImpeachBananaJim

          • HvR

            Just released on the Homeland security website…

          • TiMsTeR1033

            thats right you like the crap outta that banana. He had it coming…….

          • Admiral Chief Commander

            coming you say?

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Hehehe and without my Banana jammies.

          • Admiral Chief Commander

            i had a hawt afrikaans teacher in high school that used to torture the young adolescent boys with her banana eating method…this image brings back some memories

            cc @JimLenoir:disqus

          • HvR

            Why couldn’t I have been in school like that, we only had old hags eating bran muffins.

          • Admiral Chief Commander

            some things will never be forgotten, needless to say i never bunked afrikaans

          • TiMsTeR1033

            you tell the truth or you die like aunty sandy….

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            LMAO!!!

          • Admiral Chief Commander

            you can that a woman?

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            I can that a woman!! :P

          • http://www.twitter.com/WobblyOnion Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

            It’s generally men that have the bananas.

      • Trevor Davies

        I don’t know how to tell you this, but you’re all over the place already – in various stages of undress too :/

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          NooooOOOOooOoooOoOooO!

  • http://twitter.com/Kikmi Slade Boender

    cant get over that header, hope its a skin someday :p

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    I think most of the kids don’t understand the repercussions. If you take facebook for instance, I’ve had to have strong chats with my younger cousins about their privacy settings (and -crucially- what they put online). They don’t realise that once it’s online, you can never get that stuff back, especially if your privacy settings allow every Tom, Dick and Harry to see your pictures. 10 years from now, when you’re applying to your first job, all of that could haunt you.

    It’s absolutely amazing. Similarly with Kinect, having your identity stored by a corporation who can easily sell it to a government, should really anger people. If you don’t understand what’s at stake, then you seriously need to educate yourself.

  • http://twitter.com/D4RKL1NG Martin du preez

    The Illuminati strike again this time using the XBOX 1… we’re being watched and controlled

    But MS already hinted that with project IllumiRoom!

    Teh conspiracy theories

  • Deon Steyn

    Ooooh here’s an idea. If a person rages too much on COD or FIFA Kinect can snap a picture of the little turds face along with an audio sample! Then post it on the wall of shame or email his parents.Do it, do it now.

    • That Tall Twit

      LOL!

    • Admiral Chief Commander

      patent that one!

  • Tasty peas mixed with porridge

    The XBone is not backwards compatible, It is just a backward DRM machine.

    • Deon Steyn

      Turns DSTV into MSTV

      • Admiral Chief Commander

        O_O @ mstv

  • Tasty peas mixed with porridge

    lol they are spying on us now. It may not be visual but how else do you think they are getting the current gens data capturing?

    It is and always will be a monitoring device. In some countries that is against the law.

  • HvR

    Is it my imagination or is Geoff plagiarizing my comments for his articles.

    • http://www.twitter.com/WobblyOnion Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      Where? What now?

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        HvR comes from the past. You better stop plagiarising his comments. :P

      • HvR

        The little scally wag is using my comments for idea for his articles, on Friday I write a comment about Dew drinking chip munching CoD fans and today he uses it for his cube article and this morning i make a lot of 1984 comments and now this…. I’m watching you Geoff… like Ballmer is watching the CoD fanboys and touching himself I am watching you……

  • silverscorpio

    Microsoft will look at the potential ad revenue and ignore the complaints. It is a big concern for me too. Microsoft did not think of the consequences of the Xbox One and I get the impression that it was a rush job with theories they had but not well researched. The way the console is now will be useless for the rest of the world other than America. They are only now talking to Sky about tv integration for England. Why was these things not started immediatly when it was decided that the console will incorporate those features. Now the thing will spy on me to see what underwear I use so that it may be used to better advertise American products that I cant buy anyway because who imports underwear (for example).

    Dont get me wrong SOME of the features sound nice but it wont work for the South African market. Besides how do you really know the thing is not sying on you because Microsoft wont advertise that fact. Set the Germans and Australians loose and see what happens.

    • Tasty peas mixed with porridge

      They know what they are doing. They are sacrificing a third of their current market by making it DRM because they can make more money from a smaller casual base than a large hardcore base.

      77million 360s and 44million are on-line. They are fine with the 44million.

      THE REST CAN EAT CAKE ;P

  • Kromas

    Cheap E-Toll gantry replacements when we burn them down I suppose.

  • Tasty peas mixed with porridge

    If that Kinect 2 falls off the top of the TV you are fucked. No replacements and a bricked console.

    • FoxOneZA – X-Therminator

      Kinect 2 is going on sale next year for PC too.

      • silverscorpio

        At least I know the thing is off on the PC because it can be unplugged and I can monitor uploads with right software none of these can be done on Xbox one.

  • Umar ‘No Shana’ Bastra

    Rah, rah, ah, ah, ah,Roma, roma, ma,Gaga, Xbox One,Want your bad PR

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      looolll

  • HvR

    God is in the TV…..TVTVTV

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    You guys know what’s going to happen, the bone is going to do Wii sales numbers, and we’re all going to stand on the sidelines with anger burning in our eyes. Gaming will leave us behind, and many of us will retreat to our man caves (or lady caves… uh wait…) and become retro gamers.

    • HvR

      Join the rebellion, become a true gamer…

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        Monopoly and scrabble?

      • Admiral Chief Commander

        lulz

  • http://twitter.com/KhulaniNdlovu Khulani Ndlovu

    Well if the always online feature was still implimented on Xbox One i would definitely be worried about that, ;)

    • silverscorpio

      That once a day log on will report all information that you did that day to Microsoft. Does not have to be always online to spy and report.

      • http://twitter.com/KhulaniNdlovu Khulani Ndlovu

        Well you right, why do we even need to log online every each day just to use the console, its really crap, ;)

  • TiMsTeR1033

    Seriously ps4 better save the day, microsoft has lost the plot
    completely, you wanna watch tv get freaking cable or netflix. But wait
    this is america “the land of opportunity” where you can get an achieve for being the fastest wanker in the west when watching playboy tv. Mark my words this is gonna kill microsoft in many parts of the world, even if it didnt have used game issues the internet speed to use all those features isnt here at affordable rates, nor in many other parts of the world, plus we need uncapped! like a 10 mpbs uncapped line for decent speeds, i mean imagine the demo sizes for xbox 1 games like 40 gigs! and downloading full games its just beyond me, 100 gig games or something. PS4 make a game console not a tv decoder with games as a bonus.

    • FoxOneZA – X-Therminator

      WOW! MS said wait till E3 for the games. Judgmental much?

      • TiMsTeR1033

        I am a loyal fan to the 360, I am just seriously annoyed that tv seems to be of more concern to Ms. I mean Its like saying to 360 fans we dont give a crap if you dont have always on internet. Plus apparently the xbone is 50 % underpowered compared to ps4, talk about add insult to injury. Games wont matter if you cant even use the console. Even in a perfect world where we all could afford new games and uncapped top of the line speeds what if internet went out then your stuck and have a giant paper weight.

  • Eeko Eight-Seven

    Guys, I know we’ve all been on about DRM in games with the Xbone, but there’s a patent for DRM in viewing TV too. Microsoft filed for it last year. Like as in for example if you only paid for two people to watch a football match (the Pay-per-view type thing), and Kinect detects there’s 5 people in the room, it will force you to upgrade your license. That’s some crazy and scary ass shit. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/news/a484593/xbox-one-to-monitor-tv-viewing-content-watched-number-of-viewers.html

    • TiMsTeR1033

      See my point exactly.

    • http://www.twitter.com/WobblyOnion Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      We covered that back in November last year. Same patent – just being brought back up for hits,.

      http://www.lazygamer.net/xbox-360/microsoft-scary-licencing-patent/

      • Eeko Eight-Seven

        Must have missed that article. Lazygamer, on top of things, as usual. What’s sad is there are people in the States who will go out and buy this thing without so much as blinking an eye. Seems like Microsoft pushing it’s Volume Licensing scheme on television too. My mind is so boggled right now. You won’t understand. Paying to watch something on my tv, per person??

  • oleg86

    Well, that’s questionable. After they’ve learned how to wiretap VoIP, Skype became the only tool for private conversations. Now, check the news on Skype, Microsoft messes with private correspondence. So, now Microsoft is the new corporation of evil?

  • http://www.facebook.com/delpoi Stephen Ynwa Blythe

    Oh no my Xbox is going to see me play games watch movies eat food and scratch myself my world is under threat….give me a break who cares…if your doing something wrong in front of your computer I think you have bigger problems than someone watching you do it…hence all the pervs put your pants back on lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.farmer.927 Kyle Farmer

    Once you let them through the door it’s too late… I don’t care what they say about privacy this or privacy that… I will NOT be buying a new Xbox, my 360 will have to live on. PC all the way. I’m really starting to think that this “next” gen is the “last” gen…

  • DBL_ZA

    Personally I’d go round doing all kinds of weird things whenever Kinect was(“n’t”) watching. Bouncing on my head, screaming like a madman (more than usual anyway) etc etc. And every day just before bed I’d go right up to the Kinect and shout, “This is what Microsoft has done to me!!!” with a crazed look on my face

  • Angrybeaverchick

    Microsoft has very, very good policies around privacy. We’re a leader in the world of privacy, I think you’ll find. no you wont in fact you’d find just the opposite, no other company has failed so much at keeping the their shit secure. and they own skype which is notorious for its “privacy”

  • Angrybeaverchick

    Microsoft has very, very good policies around privacy. We’re a leader in the world of privacy, I think you’ll find. no you wont in fact you’d find just the opposite, no other company has failed so much at keeping the their shit secure. and they own skype which is notorious for its “privacy”

  • Angrybeaverchick

    Microsoft has very, very good policies around privacy. We’re a leader in the world of privacy, I think you’ll find. no you wont in fact you’d find just the opposite, no other company has failed so much at keeping the their shit secure. and they own skype which is notorious for its “privacy”

  • Angrybeaverchick

    Microsoft has very, very good policies around privacy. We’re a leader in the world of privacy, I think you’ll find. no you wont in fact you’d find just the opposite, no other company has failed so much at keeping the their shit secure. and they own skype which is notorious for its “privacy”

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