Phil Spencer Talks About How Xbox Handles Online Toxicity and Data Collection

Xbox boss Phil Spencer talks about how the company handles live video toxicity on their platforms, and how data from users is collected and used.

Posted By | On 12th, Jan. 2022

Phil-Spencer

Online gaming has become a core part of gaming in recent times, bringing people who do not know each other together. To effectively do this, however, data collection is important so that companies can check the necessary information and improve their online gaming experience.

Xbox is considered to be one of the key pioneers in online gaming on consoles to what it is today, but how does the company collect player data? Speaking recently with The New York Times (via MP1st), Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who is also the vice president of gaming at Microsoft, explained how data collection is handled by them, since online privacy has become pretty big nowadays.

Spencer explained that users signing up and logging into Xbox for the first time are given some questions about data usage that they have, pointing out that the company is pretty transparent about the use of that data, and that some data, such as gaming habits of users, is shared with the third-party partners that develop games for their platform.

“One of them that we use is with our third-party partners that build content on our platform, that they want to know, what experiences are people having in their games?” he said. “How far did they get in the games? Did they own the previous version of those games? So this is more of a creative outlet and business outlet to allow our partners to be smarter about the people who play.”

Apart from the above, Spencer also explained how child account data is shared with parents to protect them online. He said: “You can manage that with your mobile phone and get real detailed data on what your kids are doing, who the friends are on the network that they play, block people that they play, block spending. All of that is critically, critically important.”

The other thing that is very important in regards to online gaming is toxicity. To tackle this where Xbox is concerned, Spencer points out that artificial intelligence helps them out. He says that the AI does a good job in highlighting when a conversation is slowly starting to degrade, and automated tools flag those messages. Alternatively, the “report a user button” is available for every user to manually report something inappropriate.

“There’s a Report A User button that’s built right into the user interface,” Spencer said. “So if our behind-the-scene tools aren’t following or if somebody says something that we don’t catch and you want to report, you report it. That comes into our systems. We have a full team of policy and enforcement that follows up on those.”

In more related news, in the same interview, Spencer also mentioned that Xbox Series X/S is continuing to outpace previous Xbox consoles- read more on that through here.


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