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Posted by Chuck Corbin on Oct 8, 2013

Microsoft Attempts To Calm Fears Over Targeted Xbox One Advertising

After rolling back their plans to make the console require an internet connection as well as limit the way it plays used games, the only major controversial issue left with the Xbox One in my opinion is the included Kinect. While it is no longer required to be plugged in in order for the console to work, the fact remains that many folks will have it set up in their living room just because it came with the system. Privacy concerns have been abound for months, thanks in part to the NSA spying scandal busting out earlier in the summer.

Recently an article with Advertising Age came out that has people spooked again about the Kinect, when they brought up the point that the Microsoft can use the Xbox One’s Kinect to see how people respond to different ads, and use that information to better target their ads. Microsoft has said however that they have “very, very good policies around privacy,” and that they won’t use the Kinect to “snoop on anybody at all.” Keep in mind, however, that those comments were made back in May, during the Xbox One’s reveal event.

More recently, however, Albert Penello of Microsoft did make post on NeoGAF stating that while some Kinect features could be used in advertising, nobody is working on making that work. To that I say “yea right”. Even if Microsoft themselves isn’t trying to figure out how to make Kinect-fueled targeted advertising work, I’m willing to bet that there is some group out there who is. Even if it isn’t on the Xbox Dashboard, if advertisers can get ahold of Kinect camera data while somebody is watching TV you can bet that they’ll use it to see if somebody is paying attention to a commercial, ignoring it, or even mocking it. If I were you, folks, and you still want an Xbox One I’d just stick that Kinect in the closet until you have a game you want to use it on for some reason.

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