Microsoft denies Kinect spy’s on users for targeted adverts


Microsoft has denied that its Kinect console accessory watches players to target adverts at them.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Dennis Durkin, who is the company’s COO and Financial Officer for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment business, told investors that the new Kinect controller presents business opportunities for targeted advertising campaigns. “We can cater which content we present to you based on who you are,” Durkin said. “How many people are in the room when an ad is shown? How many people are in the room when a game is being played? When you add this sort of device to a living room, there’s a bunch of business opportunities that come with that.”

The comments immediately raised privacy concerns and questions whether Microsoft’s Kinect was watching users and reporting back. Microsoft’s PR team rushed to hurry out an official statement and clarify that the console doesn’t include this capability at the moment:

“Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE do not use any information captured by Kinect for advertising targeting purposes. Microsoft has a strong track record of implementing some of the best privacy protection measures in the industry. We place great importance on the privacy of our customers’ information and the safety of their experiences.”
Despite the confirmation that Kinect isn’t spying on users, this doesn’t mean Microsoft isn’t considering it for the future. The system would likely create controversy and questions from privacy advocates. Targeted advertising from companies such as Facebook has come under increasing scrutiny as consumers questions whether what they share online is private or sent to advertisers.

Microsoft launched its controller-less console accessory for the Xbox 360 across the world earlier this month. The Kinect sensor is a horizontal bar that sits at the base of your TV. The device has an RGB camera, depth sensor and multi-array microphone which runs proprietary software. Kinect allows for full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition. Owners will be able to interact with games titles using just their body. Pausing TV and fast forwarding movies can be achieved using a mix of hand movements and voice control.


Graphic Designer
This is one main reason why I don't really like the XBOX. I mean this is a big violation of privacy.

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