Microsoft : Xbox One Kinect Won’t Fetch Data For Advertisments
The development team at Microsoft says that it currently has no plans to use the motion tracking and identification powers of the Kinect sensor to power personalized advertising that intrudes on a user.
Albert Penello, one of leaders preparing the launch of the next-gen console, says that his team has more pressing concerns linked to the upcoming launch.
In a previous interview, Penello suggested that because the Xbox One’s Kinect can read facial expressions and determine levels of engagement, Microsoft could provide this data to advertisers.
“This is the point that seems to draw some controversy,” Penello said.
However, “nobody is working on that” kind of technology at the moment, Penello said. “We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I’m not aware (emphasis original) of any active work in this space.”
If such an advertising initiative were to come to fruition, Penello said users can be sure that it would not happen without people having full control over it. “Period,” he said.
Penello proceeded to illustrate how Microsoft is protecting users’ privacy on Xbox One. “First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like being able to be auto-recognized at a friend’s. I get asked for that feature a lot. But, for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn’t leave the console.
“Second: You’ll see us do some things around Skype that freezes the video when Skype is not in focus (meaning, it’s not the primary app). If you go back to the home screen, or launch another app, we actually stop the video stream. We do this so the user can’t even ACCIDENTALLY have the video stream going on in the background.
“I’ll say this – we take a lot of heat around stuff we’ve done and I can roll with it,” he concluded. “Some of it is deserved. But preventing Kinect from being used inappropriately is something the team takes very seriously. Hope that helps.”