As well as always-on internet requirements and used game concerns, Microsoft’s Xbox One console has raised eyebrows over the way it uses its new Kinect motion and sound sensor.
A constantly-connected requirement of the console, many feared that it could result in an invasion of privacy, recording any actions that occurred in front of it and sending them back to Microsoft for some devious marketing purpose.
That, Microsoft have today insisted, is not the case.
“At Microsoft, we prioritize your privacy,” the company wrote in a new post to Xbox.com.
“We understand that your personal data and privacy are important.
“When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.”
Instead, the Kinect controller, when not in use, is only ever waiting to hear the “Xbox On” command to activate the console, and is otherwise idling. Microsoft also revealed that you can “pause” the motion sensor, controlling the console through traditional means like a gamepad or remote control when gestures and voice commands are switched off.
All this will be clearly detailed upon set up, with the Xbox One navigating you through privacy options that include a choice between manual and automatic log-ins, and notifications on how you data is used.
As previously stated, some games will use Kinect as a mandatory, required feature, and some will indeed send data gathered back to servers. Microsoft again insist this is only for the benefit of the experience, with fitness games for instance tailoring work outs based on the data they gather, or a card game allowing you to bluff using facial expressions. Though such games will not work if the Kinect is in a “paused” state, the Xbox One will ask for explicit permission before sending data back to a server.