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Wednesday, 24 July 2013 07:07

Kinect snooping potential?

Written by David Stellmack

Microsoft says they would fight to block access

The new Kinect that is to be bundled with the Xbox One has had significant privacy questions surrounding its implementation with the new console. Potential owners want to know more about the privacy settings and how they work.

Better yet, people want to know whether when the red light on the Kinect is “on,” what is it recording? Does it record background conversations? In the wake of the PRISM disclosure, is it possible that Microsoft could allow or might allow the government to snoop on chats or video conferences?

While it seems that people are making up all sorts of creative ways that the new Kinect could be used to spy on people, Microsoft wants it known that they would aggressively challenge any attempt to use Kinect for snooping.

Microsoft has commented that it does not provide the government direct and unfettered access to customer data. Microsoft also says that it has not installed government snooping backdoors on any of its products or services. The company also says that controls are in place that the user can configure on the way that Kinect privacy settings are implemented on Xbox One.

We are not sure how much of this is calming fears over the potential misuse of technology. Microsoft can only act to reassure its customers and potential customers, but with the privacy discussion still being in the forefront, it is difficult to see this going away anytime soon.

David Stellmack

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