Microsoft Tells Us What Data Kinect Will Capture, And Where It Will Be Stored
With online privacy becoming more and more of a concern–thanks to the NSA–Microsoft has issued a change to its policies in a manner that is both colourful and simple to understand.
As the next generation Xbox One is designed to work with Kinect, although it does not need to, a lot of information will be processed by the device. Kinect’s data capturing will be processed in two ways, essentially: most of what is captured is stored as a numeric value and it represents you, and secondly some data will be recorded to be analysed by Microsoft, if need be. The numeric values that are recorded will not always be sent to Microsoft, instead it can remain on the local device itself.
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When using certain Kinect devices, data storage will act in unique ways. For example, when using the the Kinect to login the device “measures distances between key points on your face to create a numeric value that represents only you.” This sort of data will remain on the console itself and will not be shared. Microsoft was also abundantly clear that “[n]o one could look at the numbers and know they represent you.”
Kinect’s data collection for gameply is somewhat similar to the above. The device will map out the distance between the body’s joins to create a stick figure. This figure will be stored in memory during gameplay, whereby it is deleted once the session has been exited. However, if one is playing online,
“Microsoft may collect those numeric values to enable and improve gameplay and improve the gaming experience,” and the data is subsequently deleted after analysis.
Games that use facial expressions and the like for control over the game will see data stored on the console. It cannot be used to identify you, and it will be destroyed once the game has been quit.
Voice chat is a little different.
Microsoft notes that players “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.”
The company is noting, upfront, that they will monitor communications “to the extent permitted by law, but we cannot monitor the entire Service and make no attempt to do so.”
If a player uses a GameDVR to record their view of game, Microsoft will also be able to capture the footage along with the gametag of the player. No audio is captured.
Finally, Microsoft has noted that it will now listen in on Skype calls.