Microsoft Vows To Fight Government Spying Via Kinect

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Microsoft I don't belief you!

I don't belief you at all!

The best way to sell a product like your xbox one with needed kinect 2.0 is to put a bit power off switch on the kinect 2.0.

Just allow it to be off, or even disconnected!

Who is going to be belief you that you will fight against the goverment of the country that you have your business in.

josemlopes:
I just dont know why people are so worked up on this

The simple answer...

...

Humans are irrational creatures. A GPS positioning smartphone can gather a whole lot more of useful data about your activity then a web camera can. However, the fact that the camera sees you makes it more personal; it makes it more creepy.

In my line of work, I've seen allot of people that don't trust web cameras built into laptops and computer screens. They usually cover up the camera with a piece of torn post-it note or some tape and allot of computer companies are now adding sliding covers to the camera, to accommodate those with a camera phobia who wouldn't otherwise consider their models. Yet these very same people are usually perfectly happy about walking around with a GPS smart phone that could theoretically track their position, phone usage and web history, not to mention having its own built in camera (but that's ok because the phone is most of the time in a pocket, anyways).

Microsoft is getting all that flack for their Kinect because they're being upfront about all the creepy little things that their device can do and vague about the things that could calm down these fears. It uses facial and voice recognition. It tracks all your movements. It needs to be plugged into the Xbox for it to work. It's always on, even when the console is powered down (although vague reports from Microsoft state that it can be powered down as well, possibly, maybe). This stuff is nightmare fuel for people with web came paranoia.

So the short answer...

It's simply irrational fear. When some people see a web camera they don't see a camera, they see this:

image

BigTuk:

Seriously ms, there is no justifiable reason that the Kinect needs to be always on? I mean even when you consider ... how many people actually bought the Kinect when it was an optional add-on?

That's why they're making it such an integral part of XBox One. EVERYONE will have a Kinect 2.0 right from the start. So any time you do log in and just don't remember to turn it off, it has the potential to listen to what you're saying and see what you surround yourself with. Microsoft can use that information to custom-tailor advertisements on your home screen to your preferences to try and entice/trick you into clicking on one of the ads. It's more in service to advertisers than anything else. At least that's what I'm gathering from other articles on the interwebs. And articles on the interwebs are infallibly correct on everything all the time XD.

Still think the Kinect functions are actually kind of cool. I actually like that the Kinect understands when you pass off a controller to another player and it instantly swaps to that player's controller scheme. I also like the face-mapping feature they showed off at SD Comic-Con. Just not comfortable with having to deal with paying for a premium service and still being forced to deal with advertisements on my homescreen. I actually think I'm just going to sit this console generation out for a while and see how both Microsoft and Sony fair.

Oh so it'd have to get to court before it happened? One that'd most likely be behind closed doors and never mentioned? Well, that's a relief :P

Why is it I get the feeling Microsoft only wants to get rid of government spying so it can own the market?

kael013:

josemlopes:
I dont get what the camera has to do with spying, I mean spying text messages makes sense as people comunicate through that, I guess they can spy Skype calls but to think that they will watch you sleep? Why would they want to do that?

Even Microsoft doesnt need it to collect data for advertisements, its not like they will try to sell a t-shirt depending on what t-shirt color you usually wear. They only need to track where you go in your console or in your browser, thats what actually matters.

Actually, it's very useful as a camera also shows the person's room. For example, my room is set-up so that if I had a Kinect on my Xbox it could see my bookshelf, movie collection, and game pile. Now why is all that important? It gives the company more information on what I like. Add the fact the new Kinect measures heart-rate -which is in some part controlled by emotional state- and this device is perfect for marketing. "This guy gets excited from action movies with lots of explosions. Let's show him ads for our next game with lots of explosions." "This guy has a lot of Sci-fi books and movies. Let's show him all our 'cool' Sci-fi stuff."

As for them just tracking my movements on the console or browser, well that only goes so far since it's all based on current products they have. Maybe I and a sizeable portion of people enjoy a genre (say steampunk) that they have no (or very few) products for. How can they learn about that from monitoring us when we're on the console? They can't; but they can learn about it from watching us read books of that genre, watch movies of that genre, etc. Now they've learned about a new market and they'll do what any good money-loving company will do: capitalize on it and make more money.

Spying isn't only about watching a person, but their surroundings as well.

I dont really buy that because they dont need to see your movie collection through a small camera that may or may not be able to recognize the side cover of the movie, they can just make a deal with Netflix (that they probably already have) and have your watching history, or gather data from movie trailers and previews that you watch on Youtube (most accounts are linked one way or the other) or even on the internet since you can be loged in with your Google Chrome account and just checking a piece of news that mentions the movie is enough data for them (I watch most news related to super-hero movies for example, that data is usefull for them to determine what I like).

They can just go to your Facebook and see what you like. I mean, its so easy, why do people think that the camera will have this purpose if its such a flawed concept in the first place, a shit load of other easier more reliable ways are out there.

EDIT: I understand that people may feel unconfortable but to take this as a serious menace is going a bit over our heads.

A few years ago it would have made sense since there werent that many ways of gathering information about someone but now its so easy that a camera in a room is even worse then the other options

"Absent a new law, we don't believe the government has the legal authority to compel us or any other company that makes products with cameras and microphones to start collecting voice and video data."

That would be nice if the current regime actually bothered with following the law, legal procedures, the constitution, or any of the intended checks on the executive branch's and government's power in general. If MS doesn't play ball they'll find themselves the subject of another BS anti-trust investigation and will have the IRS finding some excuses to demand money out of them.

Infernal Lawyer:
And yet you're still going to spy on us for marketing purposes. Wait a second, what's...?

Steven Bogos:

It's a little-known fact that the Kinect, which Microsoft insists is integral to the Xbox One experience, can actually be turned completely off.

Okay, now i know that I'm not always going to be watched all day, but the fact that I knew so many horrible things about the Xbone and not this single redeeming feature until now says a lot about Microsoft's marketing department. They really need to stop being so fucking vague about everything other than confirming or backpedaling on their shitty features/practices.

In this case, the author of this article is the one being vague.

Based on existing information, you cannot turn off the Kinect short of turning off the console. If you do turn off the console, the Kinect will also turn off. In this fashion, it obeys the standard laws of "all powered devices since forever".

Essentially, the author of this article is telling you the Kinect will not function in the absence of electricity, a revelation worthy of exactly no one's time.

Some have suggested that the system will actually go into some sort of standby mode if the Kinect sensor is in any way inhibited. This would be logically consistent with their refusal to allow users to manually turn off the Kinect while continuing to use the console. Also lends quite a bit of credence to the notion that this thing is primarily about gathering information for targeted advertising delivered via the XBL dashboard... which you're already paying for.

If I can't opt out of the ads in any way, I'm not buying this console.

This is why Microsoft just dropped -11% in the markets. The unlimited riches of Government spending was just dropped from Microsoft.

I wouldn't trust Microsoft to hold onto the data gathered from Xbox users. It's already being sold to advertisers and the government can easily use any number of "legal" excuses to override anything Microsoft may have in place. Not only that, but who's to say that the government wouldn't harass the advertisers for the data if any of those companies when they'd so easily sell it to even more companies.

So.. it seems what people are worried about here is that Microsoft might use the Kinect to see what kind of things they like.. and then offer them more of it. The heartless bastards. How dare they try to offer people what they enjoy!

Christ, just a bunch of goddam puritans around here.

Yeah, attacknig the wrong horse here. its not governemnt spying on us we are afraid. its the basement hacker that will crack your awful security (seriuosly, microsoft security, its probably going to work like their AV, that is to dance around the virus hoping it will get bored and go home) in a few weeks you will ahve kids making "home videos" of your living room. THIS is much realistic problem than NSA spying on us. if NSA really wanted to do that, they could do it with your permission or without.

Product Placement:
<...>

your name and your comment.... perfect....

"Absent a new law,...

A law will undoubtedly be written, submitted, and sponsored by Microsoft. A law in which the Terms of Service for governmental access to user Kinect data is clearly defined, yet prices to be charged to the government will be left ambiguously open-ended. As in accordance with prophecy.

Kwil:
So.. it seems what people are worried about here is that Microsoft might use the Kinect to see what kind of things they like.. and then offer them more of it. The heartless bastards. How dare they try to offer people what they enjoy!

Christ, just a bunch of goddam puritans around here.

Sorry that I don't want to get caught drinking a can of pepsi, and then suddenly drowned in a torrent of ads from pepsi affiliates.

Steven Bogos:

It's a little-known fact that the Kinect, which Microsoft insists is integral to the Xbox One experience, can actually be turned completely off.

I there an indicator light for when the kinect is on?

All this camera spy talk reminds me of the phone camera malware.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119890-US-Navy-Helps-Create-Camera-Hijacking-Smartphone-Malware

Kwil:
So.. it seems what people are worried about here is that Microsoft might use the Kinect to see what kind of things they like.. and then offer them more of it. The heartless bastards. How dare they try to offer people what they enjoy!

Christ, just a bunch of goddam puritans around here.

I'm kinda with you on this one. Corporate meta-data gathering really isn't a concern. Their motives are fairly transparent. They want money. They gather data to serve ads for things you like, in the hopes of enticing you to spend more money. I really prefer this over random, untargeted ads. Worst case scenario, I ignore the ad. Whoop-de-fucking-do.

Strazdas:
Yeah, attacknig the wrong horse here. its not governemnt spying on us we are afraid. its the basement hacker that will crack your awful security (seriuosly, microsoft security, its probably going to work like their AV, that is to dance around the virus hoping it will get bored and go home) in a few weeks you will ahve kids making "home videos" of your living room. THIS is much realistic problem than NSA spying on us. if NSA really wanted to do that, they could do it with your permission or without.

LEL MICRO$OFTS SECURITY SUXX!!11!

Do you read anything you type before you hit submit? Yes, windows defender in win8 could probably be better, but it works, its free, it stays up-to-date, and because its fully integrated into the OS, its actually the best AS/AV/FW performance-wise. Further, your Kinect info will typically be internal to the device, or passing information through Azure. You really can't get much better than that. The modified form of Win8 that the One will be rolling out would also require specific hacks. Chances are, nabbing each one individually will be a waste of time.

If you are really concerned about the Kinect being on, cover it up. Through some tape on it or a plastic cover. Or better yet, don't buy it. Enjoy root-kit Sony, enjoy feature-removing Sony, enjoy Three-weeks-downtime Sony, enjoy Every-account-management-system-we've-ever-run-has-been-grossly-compromised-Sony, enjoy modify-your-console-and-we'll-sue-you Sony. Just enjoy.

I'll have fun with my 1080p 3D camera, my tablet-integration, and unified development/multimedia platform between my PC, my tablet, my phone, and my console.

Genocidicles:

Kwil:
So.. it seems what people are worried about here is that Microsoft might use the Kinect to see what kind of things they like.. and then offer them more of it. The heartless bastards. How dare they try to offer people what they enjoy!

Christ, just a bunch of goddam puritans around here.

Sorry that I don't want to get caught drinking a can of pepsi, and then suddenly drowned in a torrent of ads from pepsi affiliates.

Wait.. so you think if they *don't* see you with something, you'll get fewer ads? Really?

Kwil:
Wait.. so you think if they *don't* see you with something, you'll get fewer ads? Really?

No, but I don't want them to know what I like. That aids them in manipulating people further than they already do.

Say they catch me eating a salty snack. They then target advertisements to me showing refreshing drinks, maybe it even uses my name as advertising is beginning to do so, and it reminds me how thirsty I am. So I eventually go to the shop and while I may not buy one of the drinks they advertised, chances are the drink I buy is owned by the same company as the one that was advertised.

That's far more manipulative than me just sitting in front of the tv, and half of the adverts are things I'll never want or need like tampons or overly expensive cars or shitty movies I have no intention of seeing.

"That's right, everyone We promise not to let the government spy on you, ever! That privilege is reserved for our advertisers and marketing committees! Don't worry about Big Brother or things like that, have some targeted advertisements and subliminal messages! Buy buy buy!"

XBone? Nein, danke.

"OK Government and, anyone else who would want to spy on people...I'm going to leave this camera and microphone right here in everybody's living room. Now I want you to pinky-promise me you won't go spying on anybody OK?"

Microsoft...it couldn't have been easier. I want to give you my money and all you had to do was give me a pretty, little box that remembered games like Crimson Skies, Mechassault and, Otogi. I'm glad you remembered Panzer Dragoon and Killer Instinct but there is no way in Hell I'm putting the camera/microphone combo in my living room. No, I can't put it in my room instead as my bedroom is too small to accommodate the Kinect. No, I don't think I can trust you even if you release a version that doesn't require Kinect: What did you say? "All features and functionality are subject to change at any time and for any reason"?

You just don't have my trust anymore Microsoft.

---

Also, I thought the Kinect2.0 was always listening for the "On" command, even while it's switched to the 'off' mode. Then again, unplugging the thing is the true 'off' setting...

"We can't use it to spy on our customer because they'll get pissed off, so we're going to make sure that no one else can spy on our customers and we'll take whatever legal measures we can to make it seem like we care about our customers!"

That's really what I saw when reading the little snippet.

Carry on Microsoft, carry on....

I Never thought they would give up the Kinect data until they said this. LOL
Now I'm sure they will. LMAO
Why is the first step before it happens is always to convince people it isn't going to happen?
DENY DENY DENY then !BAM!

"but.. but wait they had a warrant!"

BlackMageBob:

Strazdas:
snip

LEL MICRO$OFTS SECURITY SUXX!!11!

Do you read anything you type before you hit submit? Yes, windows defender in win8 could probably be better, but it works, its free, it stays up-to-date, and because its fully integrated into the OS, its actually the best AS/AV/FW performance-wise. Further, your Kinect info will typically be internal to the device, or passing information through Azure. You really can't get much better than that. The modified form of Win8 that the One will be rolling out would also require specific hacks. Chances are, nabbing each one individually will be a waste of time.

If you are really concerned about the Kinect being on, cover it up. Through some tape on it or a plastic cover. Or better yet, don't buy it. Enjoy root-kit Sony, enjoy feature-removing Sony, enjoy Three-weeks-downtime Sony, enjoy Every-account-management-system-we've-ever-run-has-been-grossly-compromised-Sony, enjoy modify-your-console-and-we'll-sue-you Sony. Just enjoy.

I'll have fun with my 1080p 3D camera, my tablet-integration, and unified development/multimedia platform between my PC, my tablet, my phone, and my console.

Microsoft security is quite bad, hence the need to plug the holes for next 10 years is certain. unless they pulled another 180 on that too.
Windows defender could be a lot better. there are better free antivirus services. for example avast. yes, it works, sort of. and its integrated into OS that is a plus, but other antivuruses have learnt how to get themselves in pretty well, unless microsoft pulls a "fuck off" in win8, which they can do for any program they want.
Kinect info will be internal. and hence the problem, it has internal info. any easily seeded worm (for example carried over via usb sticks) and thati nfo is yours. you can then manpulate it to send it over internet wheever you want as long as xbox is conencted.
kinect cant be covered, the rumors so far say best case scenario the xbox will be in "Stand by" mdoe if kinect cant see anything.
Oh, im not saying sony is a saint or anything, but MS has pretty much all these you stated and more.
and i can have the last part by, you know, having a PC.

That's nice Microsoft but what are you going to do about the eventual hackers that will show up and just love the idea of looking into peoples houses for shits and giggles? Not to mention the criminal applications of that prospect. Building secure software has never been your strong-suit so I'm never getting a Kinect.

EDIT: You know what's funny, by saying your going to fight the government on this you basically just admitted that you have the ability to spy on us with the Kinect and you are actively collecting data of us with it. After all, if the device did not have any such capabilities then there would be no reason to defend yourself against the government.

Soooooo, yeah I'm definitely never ever getting one now, I hope no one will, I hope this device becomes a compete disaster.

Bah! I commented on this topic months ago, pointing out that Microsoft willingly opted into the PRISM spying program and that they had just created a device whose sole purpose is to spy on you. There is no way you can trust Microsoft not to hand that information over to the government if they're willing participants in a spying program.

Everyone at that time was overly trusting of Microsoft and told me that it was just a conspiracy theory. Glad to see you're all joining me in the tin-foil hat corner, but you're a few months late on the uptake. >_>

Adam Jensen:
That's a blatant lie. The Kinect as a device is actually collecting your metadata. That's not a conspiracy, that's what the thing does in order to do it's job. The official Xlive ToS already poses a great privacy risk, and all those anti-terrorist acts like The Patriot Act allow the US government to bypass the 4th amendment and just ask Microsoft for Kinect metadata without a warrant. On top of that Microsoft's been working with NSA on Prism since 2007. Anyone who believes this is quite simply a brainless fuckin' idiot. No point in dancing around that.

So anyone that disagrees with you is a "brainless fucking idiot"? Someone needs a chill pill here.

Let's stop and take a breath here, okay cowboy? Verizon and Facebook have also been working for NSA as well. And you criticize Microsoft even though you admit the government can just force them to give information? If they can do that, what's to stop them from taking info from Steam or Sony?

My only thought here was 'OH BITCH PLEASE'.

I don't believe my Microsoft OS PC isn't tapped for one cotton picking minute. Every update is a curtain of suspicious.

And you mean to tell me that 'my Windows Operating system console' won't have that same bullshit?

Get out of my house you lying liars who lie.

Saucycarpdog:
Let's stop and take a breath here, okay cowboy? Verizon and Facebook have also been working for NSA as well. And you criticize Microsoft even though you admit the government can just force them to give information? If they can do that, what's to stop them from taking info from Steam or Sony?

The companies involved with PRISM were not forced to hand over information. They opted into the program by choice.

They could have refused if they wanted. They chose to be participants. Ergo they deserve all the flak in the world for it.

...they gave backdoor options for the government for skype and apparently windows 8, so why would they stop here? Because they want to protect their game players?

Aggressively challenge =/= prevent them from having the data as is clearly evidenced by the other data that the government has already obtained from those sources. It doesn't matter how you challenge it if the government still wins every time.

Great, another reason not to like it. *sigh* Wonder if it'd be better had they not announced this.

CriticKitten:

Saucycarpdog:
Let's stop and take a breath here, okay cowboy? Verizon and Facebook have also been working for NSA as well. And you criticize Microsoft even though you admit the government can just force them to give information? If they can do that, what's to stop them from taking info from Steam or Sony?

The companies involved with PRISM were not forced to hand over information. They opted into the program by choice.

They could have refused if they wanted. They chose to be participants. Ergo they deserve all the flak in the world for it.

They chose to be participants because the government would issue a fine or forced them to give the info if they didn't. Would you like a link?

And I'm not defending the PRISM program. I'm saying that hating companies that had the US government breathing down their necks is not quite looking at the whole story.

"If a government wants customer data - including for national security purposes - it needs to follow applicable legal process, meaning it must serve us with a court order for content or subpoena for account information.

... okay, so the government issues you a subpoena to let them spy on your users.
Why the hell would anyone, at this point, think the NSA or US government cares at all about civil liberties, due process or those pesky "laws" that would get in their way?

Ugh, the government doesn't give the slightest of shits about what you do in your living room. The only reason they pay any attention to your phone calls is to find who's affiliated with terrorists or whoever. Watching you jerk off to a documentary about horses for four hours straight isn't going to help them in any way, and there's no way they'd somehow manage to acquire the sort of funding from congress that they'd need to be able to pay people to watch you without congress realising that watching you jerk off isn't going to help make money for their corporate leash-holders

EDIT:

BloodSquirrel:
will have the IRS finding some excuses to demand money out of them.

You mean aside from, you know, expecting them to pay taxes to maintain the social structure that makes their bussiness possible?

Genocidicles:

Kwil:
Wait.. so you think if they *don't* see you with something, you'll get fewer ads? Really?

No, but I don't want them to know what I like. That aids them in manipulating people further than they already do.

Say they catch me eating a salty snack. They then target advertisements to me showing refreshing drinks, maybe it even uses my name as advertising is beginning to do so, and it reminds me how thirsty I am. So I eventually go to the shop and while I may not buy one of the drinks they advertised, chances are the drink I buy is owned by the same company as the one that was advertised.

That's far more manipulative than me just sitting in front of the tv, and half of the adverts are things I'll never want or need like tampons or overly expensive cars or shitty movies I have no intention of seeing.

LOL.. just like I said. The bastards! Advertising things you want! How dare they! Why, if only there was some way you could control yourself.. like.. oh.. I don't know.. controlling yourself.

So Microsoft pretty much just admitted that "yes, the thing can be used to spy on you. But we promise we will fight the government tooth and nail, in their private one party star chamber court, to probably not stop them from being able to monitor your whole house whenever they want. Isn't technology fun.

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