Microsoft Vows To Fight Government Spying Via Kinect

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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.

The thing tracks your eye movements and changes in your skin tone. It doesn't care what you are actually eating. It knows what you like from knowing what you look at on screen and how you react to it. If you see a bag of Doritos on screen it will know if you like them. Expect to be force fed lots of ads concerning breasts, breast enhancement products, and livestock.

No fai, governments. Microsoft called dibs on big brother treatment of its consumers first!

How about we just skip all the bullshit about how you care and make the Kinect mandatory. There you go, no more complaints.

or... we could just save both our troubles... by NOT buying... I'll save that $500, and M$ can save on millions; and actually USE THAT MONEY TO MAKE WINDOWS8 NOT SUCK! While I can use the money I saved to buy PS4! and still have left over for grocery shopping for the week after!

Steven Bogos:

Somethingfake:
Nope. Still not going to buy it, think of buying it, or accept it as a gift. Move on Microsoft, I'm sticking to my pc which I can trust.

Which runs Windows, which is manufactured by Microsoft...

Sorry could not hear that over the sound of Ubuntu booting up. Hang on have to wait for Steam to load... Ok so what were we talking about? Oh yeah Micro$oft is full of jerks... I agree.

CriticalMiss:
It would be so much easier for them to fight government spying by not making the Kinect mandatory. Are they going to do that? No.

Steven Bogos:

Somethingfake:
Nope. Still not going to buy it, think of buying it, or accept it as a gift. Move on Microsoft, I'm sticking to my pc which I can trust.

Which runs Windows, which is manufactured by Microsoft...

There's an app for that. http://www.linux.org/

See there is a reasonable response. Valve has already jumped ship off of Windows 8 only a matter of time before everyone else does too.

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.

Yeah, 'cuz there is no implied force in federal warrants. The entire group of companies subject to PRISM are doing their damnedest to get some kind of transparency on the governments part in starting the program.

Well I guess that's what they've got to say.

Also, you can turn off Kinect by turning the entire machine off, but that's not the default off, which is sleep mode. Otherwise it couldn't wake up when you say 'XBox'.

"We won't allow the government to spy on you! Only we're allowed to do that!"

Meaning they have already been contacted and already made their decision.
Which one? Who the hell knows, i for one - shall not trust an involved party.

"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."

Isn't that the whole problem, though? That the FISA court is a total rubber stamp on top of actually following (vomitously) legal processes? I don't know that Microsoft could actually do anything in this case. Which makes it suspiciously easy to say they're going to fight this while being able to say later on that their hands were tied.

Lilani:
"We won't allow the government to spy on you! Only we're allowed to do that!"

Haha, only they didn't say that. They said, "We'll fight to prevent the government from doing it." They have no power to allow or disallow the government. What this means is that they'll pursue legal actions to try and prevent the information from being obtained but the moment a court order comes in they'll comply like any good little company has to. Or they'll just get charged with obstruction and they'll come in and force them to hand it over.

Lightknight:

Lilani:
"We won't allow the government to spy on you! Only we're allowed to do that!"

Haha, only they didn't say that. They said, "We'll fight to prevent the government from doing it." They have no power to allow or disallow the government. What this means is that they'll pursue legal actions to try and prevent the information from being obtained but the moment a court order comes in they'll comply like any good little company has to. Or they'll just get charged with obstruction and they'll come in and force them to hand it over.

We were talking in the Jimquisition thread too...are you following me?

image

Anyway, yeah. This is all just a bunch of blustering from Microsoft to try and make themselves look friendly again. As you said, if the government really wants to push anything on them, they'll have no choice but to oblige. Microsoft is just continuing their parade of trying to make up with the gaming community with too few offerings WAY too late in the game to make any sort of a difference.

"Aggressively challenge" until they get a lot of money

BlackMageBob:
-snip-

Saucycarpdog:
-snip-

The government could never have enforced such a fine or penalty in the first place, not by secret court order. No provision of the Patriot Act would allow for such a thing. Granted, the Patriot Act only allows for the retrieval of such data, but it would not allow them to enforce any significant legal penalties on the corporation in ways that operate outside of the law (such as these secret court orders did). The Patriot Act does grant significant powers.

And besides, by 2007, people were already getting iffy about the Patriot Act, and most people did not welcome Obama's renewal of the bill. We're to believe that all of these corporations secretly fought the good fight over the course of the six years since the program began? Forgive me if I don't buy that.

But hey, I'll bite. Let's suppose, for a second, that they did. Why didn't they make this public, ever? Why did they initially refuse to comment on the subject when it was leaked by various lower-level employees of Verizon? Are we meant to believe that the court orders also included criminal charges if the court orders were "leaked"? How would you enforce such criminal charges without blowing the lid on your entire secret operation? Go into their houses at night and bag them, ala V for Vendetta?

Sorry, you can believe as you wish, but this sounds too much like a ridiculous Hollywood-esque scheme rather than a real-life scenario. It's far easier for me to believe that these companies are just now trying to cover their asses because the program was leaked, as opposed to the notion that they secretly battled the forces of evil for years and it's only just now coming to light because they recently got tired of hiding it. >_>

riiiiiiigggght Micro$oft is just going to say no to the billions of dollars they would make off of this from the government... just for the sake of protecting their consumers...

If they don't sell the footage on launch they will in the future

FieryTrainwreck:

Infernal Lawyer:
Herp derp Kinect can be turned off because of hyperlink I didn't bother looking at

Um, actually...

Considering I've already read the article in question and thought that it was ridiculous at the time, that's pretty embarrassing of me. Thanks for the heads up.

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.

I've talked to staff at EB Games (I think it's the NZ equivalent of Gamestop) who've told me the mandatory Kinect, despite the fears of spying and privacy, isn't an issue because you can 'just cover it up or turn it around'. I already thought that was a pretty poor excuse, seeing as I'd rather not buy an Xbone rather than bother working around my 'paranoia' of being constantly watched... But if there's any truth to what you just said, I wouldn't touch the thing with a 5-foot pole.

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

Ads should be left in the virtual store, like on Steam, Itunes or the Nintendo Online shop (the only examples I know of firsthand). If Steam wants to find out that I have a fetish for RTS games, fine... But for the most part it respectfully fucks the hell off until I explicitly tell it I'm interested in browsing. At worst, Steam pops up ads when I turn off a game, but I don't see an issue with that since 1. I can opt out of it, 2. It can be easily clicked out if I'm not in the mood.

I also don't understand why the fuck people have to put up with ads when they're already paying a subscription. Then again, I guess people already pay for Sky TV (or w/e it's called abroad) which also has ads, so this is probably yet another ridiculous case of idiot corporations taking bullshit from another market and putting into their own (Micro-transactions in Dead Space 3, anyone? It works for F2P and Phone Apps, right?)

Wait, this was about the Government spying on us, right? Um... In any case, I'm not sure how much I trust Microsoft, seeing as they opted into PRISM in the first place. I'll not be getting a Xbone unless there are some VERY big changes... though of course I'm keeping my PC.

Infernal Lawyer:
Considering I've already read the article in question and thought that it was ridiculous at the time, that's pretty embarrassing of me. Thanks for the heads up.

Not remotely your fault. You rightfully assumed the author wouldn't possibly waste your time with a statement as idiotically self-evident as "Kinect is not a self-contained nuclear reactor with a half-life of several million years, so you can still disable it by turning off the console." Although this has been par for the course with all Xbone messaging; you need to vigilantly read between the lines to suss out anything resembling the truth because MS and their mouthpieces are hell-bent on obfuscation - as are most people with nothing but bad news.

I've talked to staff at EB Games (I think it's the NZ equivalent of Gamestop) who've told me the mandatory Kinect, despite the fears of spying and privacy, isn't an issue because you can 'just cover it up or turn it around'. I already thought that was a pretty poor excuse, seeing as I'd rather not buy an Xbone rather than bother working around my 'paranoia' of being constantly watched... But if there's any truth to what you just said, I wouldn't touch the thing with a 5-foot pole.

They haven't confirmed or denied the rumor that the console will cease to function if you cover the Kinect sensor/microphone. Based on immediate prior experience, this is as good as an admission, but who knows. I'd be supremely confused if they allowed you to muffle the thing because then there's really no reason they shouldn't simply allow you to turn it off - which they have confirmed they will not do. At the same time, consistent internal logic isn't "safe grounds" for supposing anything when you're dealing with fanboys.

Ads

The proliferation of ads across the entire XBL experience will only ever cease if people stop buying from Microsoft. There's no reason for them not to stuff as much as they can in as many places as they can unless we show them it will hurt their bottom line. For whatever reason, people just aren't very sensitive to this one. They're fine being inundated with advertisements on a service they're already paying for because the corporations who benefit continually tell us there's "no other way". There is, of course, but you'd need a more principled consumer base than North America to inspire change.

Microsoft has gotten so ballsy with the ads that they've even started trumpeting the Kinect/ads synergy as a feature. Apparently my experience is enriched when the things I don't want to see grow ever-more inextricable from actual gaming.

Wait, this was about the Government spying on us, right? Um... In any case, I'm not sure how much I trust Microsoft, seeing as they opted into PRISM in the first place. I'll not be getting a Xbone unless there are some VERY big changes... though of course I'm keeping my PC.

I'm honestly not so put out by the government attempting to gather information through these devices IF they're following proper protocol AND said protocol is both reasonable and democratic. I'm more annoyed at Microsoft gathering and benefiting from my personal information without my say so. If they want to incentivize me for participating in opt-in data farming programs, maybe I'll consider them. But I'm not keen on the idea of them harvesting my info and using it to their financial advantage while my sole prize is an unwanted invasion of privacy.

That last bit is emblematic of Microsoft's overriding failure in marketing the Xbone thus far; they simply haven't brought enough legitimate positives to justify all of the new invasive and restrictive policies. If they'd promised us lower prices on a relatively free market, all-digital distribution might have made more sense. If they'd offered advantages and incentives for allowing Kinect to scope my living room on behalf of advertisers, maybe I'd have been more amenable to sharing. If they'd sold me on the importance of Kinect instead of routinely deploying the circular logic of "you need it because we put it in there because you need it...", maybe I wouldn't balk at the price.

Instead, they're offering up a bunch of new "features" no one asked for/very few people want, restricting or removing stuff we definitely do want, and giving us nothing but nebulous promises regarding any potential "good stuff".

oggebogge91:
Why? Why would they in any way or reason want too spy on people in their home. Why is this such a big problem for the Xbox but not for the thousands of smartphones/laptops/tablets that are out there (or why not the Wii U), which pretty much always come with an inbuilt camera and microphone. It would probably be just as easy to remotely access the cam or mic in an android phone as in the Kinect.

Irrelevant. Firstly, as I noted this press release amounts to an explicit announcement that Microsoft will be using the kinect to spy on people. Once again, there's no reason for them to talk about refusing to hand over data unless they are going to be collecting that data. So it doesn't matter whether you can think of a good reason for them to do so, it appears that they are going to be doing it anyway.

Secondly, it doesn't matter why people might be worried about it. The fact is that many people are worried about it. This isn't about logic, it's about PR. Microsoft are trying to reassure people that their data is safe, but they're doing so by admitting that they're going to be gathering lots of personal data. It doesn't make any difference whether people's fears are sensible or not, as a piece of PR this announcement does pretty much the opposite of what was intended.

I still don't see any actual protections to the consumer. At this point its a bunch of hollow PR bullshit.

Kwil:

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.

It shows a lack of understanding of psychology that you assume controlling yourself is as simple as ... controlling yourself. You may argue that someone who is strong willed can control themselves but you're fooling yourself if you think everyone is equally as strong willed.

Simple fact is in a world where mind control and subconscious suggestion exists and is implemented in varying ways (mob mentality mainly) targeted advertising can be a terrible thing. It can be as bad as advertising fatty foods to someone going on a diet. Or much much worse.

Advertising to children or teenagers addictive products. I know it already happens but it being targeted just would make the effects more profound. And that's not even taking into account a device that's so amazingly adept it can find your heart beat by the computationally minute changes in hue of your face. Having such a device being enforced opt in and then making a cop out statement like "lol its just ads!' Just demeans both the potential further applications for harm and the potential harm already being done by unscrupulous advertising (like MacDonald's ads during kids shows).

It may just be the uneasy moral grey to dark implications the usages of the kinect have that make people uneasy. You aren't thinking far enough afield if you think 'targeted advertising' just covers what's on an xbox one dashboard...

kklawm:

Kwil:

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.

It shows a lack of understanding of psychology that you assume controlling yourself is as simple as ... controlling yourself. You may argue that someone who is strong willed can control themselves but you're fooling yourself if you think everyone is equally as strong willed.

Simple fact is in a world where mind control and subconscious suggestion exists and is implemented in varying ways (mob mentality mainly) targeted advertising can be a terrible thing. It can be as bad as advertising fatty foods to someone going on a diet. Or much much worse.

Advertising to children or teenagers addictive products. I know it already happens but it being targeted just would make the effects more profound. And that's not even taking into account a device that's so amazingly adept it can find your heart beat by the computationally minute changes in hue of your face. Having such a device being enforced opt in and then making a cop out statement like "lol its just ads!' Just demeans both the potential further applications for harm and the potential harm already being done by unscrupulous advertising (like MacDonald's ads during kids shows).

It may just be the uneasy moral grey to dark implications the usages of the kinect have that make people uneasy. You aren't thinking far enough afield if you think 'targeted advertising' just covers what's on an xbox one dashboard...

You do realize you're making the exact same argument made by the folks who claim violent videogames cause violent behavior.
Congrats!

Given that Big Micro already opened gaping backdoor access to Outlook (Not just Outlook Express, but the fucking paid version that comes with Office) I just don't have the capacity to believe MS is sincere about this.

Curse you, Microsoft. Damn you to Hellfire and bankruptcy.

238U

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