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But You Can Always Remove the Power Cord

July 16th, 2013 - 3:37 pm

Creepy stuff about the Xbox One and its always-on Kinect camera:

The company told us that the Kinect’s cameras and microphones aren’t actually recording or transmitting any audio or video data back to Microsoft’s servers without the user’s explicit consent, and all ambiently collected data is anonymized. While some voice commands are processed at Microsoft’s servers, they’re converted to text before they ever leave the machine, and biometric data is translated into numerical values that simply indicate, say, where a player’s limbs are during online multiplayer games.

“We aren’t using Kinect to snoop on anybody at all,” said Microsoft’s Phil Harrison.

But would Microsoft be willing to help the government snoop? That’s a good question. Last week, a report in The Guardian alleged that Microsoft gave government agencies access to private Skype video and audio calls, perhaps even going so far as to integrate Skype into the NSA’s controversial PRISM surveillance system.

Not unlike Kinect, Skype had assured its users that wiretaps were technically impossible.

I was — and still am — impressed with Microsoft’s execution of the new Xbox hardware, and with its new vision of what a console is for. But in light of last week’s revelations about Skype, I’m having some serious second thoughts.

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Don't think of it as Microsoft attempting to spy on you, think of it as Microsoft creating a market for opaque, sound-proofed covers for the camera module.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've come up with a novel way of spending one's free time that minimizes the chances of Xbox eavesdropping. It's called sex with girls. It has required many long, hard hours of research to prove the viability of the concept, but results are promising.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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