Xbox One: Kinect Will Have Extensive Privacy Controls

Microsoft has addressed controversy regarding the Kinect always listening to what is being said in the room.


  • You are in control of what Kinect can see and hear: By design, you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup. The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.


  • You are in control of when Kinect sensing is On, Off or Paused: If you don’t want the Kinect sensor on while playing games or enjoying your entertainment, you can pause Kinect. To turn off your Xbox One, just say “Xbox Off.” When the system is off, it’s only listening for the single voice command — “Xbox On,” and you can even turn that feature off too. Some apps and games may require Kinect functionality to operate, so you’ll need to turn it back on for these experiences.


  • You are in control of your personal data: You can play games or enjoy applications that use data, such as videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate and more, but this data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission. Here are a few examples of potential future scenarios:
    • A fitness game could measure heart rate data to provide you with improved feedback on your workout, allow you to track your progress, or even measure calories burned.
    • A card game could allow you to bluff your virtual opponent using your facial expressions.


  • You can use other inputs to control your games, TV and entertainment experiences: While it’s faster to find what you’re looking for using your voice and gesture commands with Kinect, you can use a controller, your remote controls or your smart devices instead. And you can use all of these devices when Kinect is paused.

This seems to be a fairly reasonable compromise to those who are concerned with the Kinect and their privacy.  The larger picture is that we are moving into a world where we may see Kinect-like technology popping up in more and more places in our lives.  Check out the movie “Minority Report,” staring Tom Cruise, which addresses some of these issues, and a movie in which Microsoft was consulted on.

Source: Xbox Wire

  • slayr007

    As much as I appreciate Microsoft trying to quell concerns about privacy, this isn’t enough. The XBox One will sell countless units, I’m sure. However, MS is making some really stupid decisions with this console release. Example 1: Kinect in every box. Not Only is microsoft making something more expensive by including this hardware, but they are making some nervous that Microsoft will require Kinect for the console to even work. This is not good. Many are paranoid about having a device that can be hacked into to spy upon their lives in their living room. If I were Microsoft I would have done what they did with the first Kinect and sold it seperately. My biggest bone to pick with the XBox team is the requiring us to ‘install’ games on the system. You know what one of the biggest reasons for the Xbox’s success? It was NOT a frigging desktop computer! You could literally borrow a game from a friend and play it without ever having to purchase it. I know that sounds weird to say. However think about it like this you are contemplating buying an XBox ONE and only have enough for the console itself. Your friend already has the XBox ONE and several games. You want to play those games on your system. This is where you realize that Microsoft made the stupid move of requiring you to install a game on your system and to use a pin. You say screw this I’m going to buy the PS4 or the Wii U (yeah, like that’d happen) instead. Microsoft needs to think like this. It needs to consider the age group who wants consoles originally isn’t the elderly, the parents or the 30 something successful businessperson. It’s the preteens, the teens and the college students. They’re on their parents’ dime most of the time and probably can’t afford to buy EVERY single game they want to play. They probably can’t pay the fee that microsoft is planning either.

    Sorry >/rant<

    • mAdAk


      You need to read the previous article and this one again. Microsoft has addressed every problem you mention here.

      you can pause Kinect, essentially turning it off

      you can borrow and even give games to your friends

      Microsoft is not planning a fee for transferring games

      • Jon

        +1….Also, they have said that they are requiring a Kinect, so that game developers can develop games and rely on the kinect being there. It may be BS, but if a required Kinect can result in new and inventive gameplay, then I’m all for it.

  • koenshaku

    Sounds like the headline for a google console.. This is just sad.. why MS why..

  • BIAS

    M$ has been pulling this always on crap with WP as well. The music will not play offline, even downloaded ones. And the downloaded ones have hiccups more frequently than I wanna admit….

    • Toobs

      That’s not accurate… downloaded music can be played on WP8 without an active internet connection, however, the default configuration of the Xbox Music app syncs your library to the cloud and exchanges metadata with the XB Music service to build your music profile (and download covers etc.)

      These features can be easily turned off (See the “Connect with Xbox Music”, “Xbox Music Cloud Collection” and “Now Playing on Xbox” toggle switches in settings)

      Also depending on your level of paranoia you might also want to turn off the music and app “Suggestions” switch.

      • BIAS

        I’m not the paranoid kind, but I’m simply saying these setting hamper my enjoyment of music. Ure right that most of these songs play, but the minority show an error message about me not having permission to use something….