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Microsoft revise Kinect privacy policies

by William Schwartz

Kinect

Microsoft have released a new privacy statement regarding the collection and use of data on the Kinect. In particular, it explains what control you have over the data that Kinect uses and how safe your information is. Credit goes to IGN for spotting the story first.

After a brief synopsis of what Kinect is and how it works, it jumps straight into an explanation about signing into the Xbox One using your face; “The camera can be used to sign you in… it measures distances between key points on your face to create a numeric value that represents only you. No one could look at the numbers and know they represent you.”

Information stays on the console and is not shared with anyone

The privacy statement also reiterates numerous time that you will have control over what information Kinect 2.0 will collect on you and what it does with it. “You control what happens to photographs taken during gameplay and whether voice commands are captured for analysis. You can turn Kinect off at any time… You can decide how your stats are managed and whether they are shared.”

In addition, Microsoft confirms that “authentication information stays on the console and is not shared with anyone.” There have been plenty of concerns regarding this particular issue for months, and this privacy statement should hopefully set those fears to bed once and for all. However, after the many NSA debacles there are bound to be cynics and critics that won’t trust these policies.

The statement finishes with a new capability referred to as Expressions; “This feature allows you to use your defined facial expressions to control or influence a game. This data does not identify you, stays on the console and is destroyed once your session ends.”

The Xbox One launches in 3 weeks, on November 22nd in North America and selected European countries. Will you be buying one?

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