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Posted by Chuck Corbin on May 29, 2013

Germany Isn’t Pleased With Xbox One’s Privacy Concerns

The Xbox One has really ran through a gauntlet this first week after being announced. From ambiguities over its used game policy, to its apparent required internet connection, its been getting slammed back and forth from gamers everywhere. However, one of the biggest issues involving the new system is the fact that the new Kinect is an absolute requirement for the system: if the Kinect isn’t connected to the Xbox One, the system just won’t work.

And while it looks cool on stage to be able to go “Xbox, on” and have the system turn on, many privacy advocates started ranting about the implications. After all, it had been implied that the Xbox One would never really have a “totally off” state, and that instead some part of it would be on in order to hear those words “Xbox, on”. And with that, many folks are worried about the Xbox One could be used to track just what exactly is going on inside of a room at all times, even if it’s supposedly off, whether it’s by a group of hackers, or most likely, Microsoft themselves.

The German federal commissioner for data protection and freedom of information Peter Schaar isn’t too happy with this “feature”. “The Xbox [One] registered all sorts of personal information about me. Reaction rates, my learning or emotional states. You are then processed on a remote server and possibly even to third parties. Whether it be deleted ever, the person concerned cannot influence.”

While Microsoft is saying that privacy is a “top priority” for the company, you still can’t help but feel a little turned off by the idea of Microsoft being able to see just what exactly is going on inside your living room. I know if I end up getting an Xbox One for one reason or another I’ll probably end up throwing a blanket over the sensor unless absolutely necessary, or even just umplugging the whole thing. And I don’t even consider myself a privacy freak, either!

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