Microsoft to monitor communications “to the extent permitted by the law”.
Microsoft has finally revealed its new Privacy statement, which talks about data collected by the Xbox One and Kinect and what will stay private. One thing we know is that all forms of chatting will be monitored “to the extend permitted by the law”.
For the most part, Kinect appears safe in terms of facial recognition information gathered, with the information being deleted once you switch the console off. Kinect will “measure distances between key points on your face to create a numeric value that represents only you” and is represented as a “very long set of numbers”. Hence, “[n]o one could look at the numbers and know they represent you.” Regardless, the data stays on your console. Even the distance between your joints, represented by a stick-figure for properly tracking the player, are deleted once you turn the console off.
As for online play, “Microsoft may collect those numeric values to enable and improve gameplay and improve the gaming experience” with said values to be “destroyed after analysis is complete.” Players will also be able to decide what to do with photographs, voice commands and other information gathered.
Now, when it comes to voice chat, whether over Kinect or otherwise, then you “should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features such as voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions offered through the Services.” Microsoft will even monitor communications “to the extent permitted by law, but we cannot monitor the entire Service and make no attempt to do so.” Interestingly, “[c]ommunications in live-hosted gameplay sessions may also be broadcast to others.”
Regarding DVR recording: “When playing multiplayer on Xbox Live, any player in that session can use GameDVR to record their view of the gameplay taking place in that session. The recording may capture your in-game character and gamertag in the game clips created by other players in the gameplay session. No audio chat is recorded in these game clips.”
Skirting the edge of surveillance or very much within NSA-like borders? Let us know what you think of the new Privacy statement in the comments. The Xbox One will launch on November 22nd in 13 territories worldwide.