Microsoft may sell your Kinect data to third-party advertisers

It’s no secret to anybody that I’m an anti-Xbox gamer. For close to a decade, I’ve scoffed at Microsoft’s entry to the gaming industry. While I acknowledge (and admire) the company for revolutionizing online gaming, there have been way too many missteps made for me to ever fully embrace the Xbox line. While the Xbox 360 has spent the past four years near the top of the gaming industry, due in no small part to Sony’s own missteps with the PlayStation 3’s first few years, Microsoft’s handling of the Xbox One has been more than enough proof to show just how conniving and money-grubbing the company can be.

While they reversed their pro-DRM policies back in June, there was still the worry of the Kinect camera’s ability to detect everything from the user’s voice to scanning the items and objects in the room. After all, Microsoft is a known supporter and backer of the National Security Agency (NSA), and with their penchant to make money any way they can, the latest news that they’re considering selling Kinect data to third-party advertisers comes as no surprise.

Microsoft’s Vice President of Marketing and Strategy made a speech at this past weekend’s Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference about the future of advertising and the “gamification” of it all, stating:

“We are trying to bridge some of the world between online and offline. That’s a little bit of a holy grail in terms of how you understand the consumer in that 360 degrees of their life. We have a pretty unique position at Microsoft because of what we do with digital, as well as more and more with television because of Xbox. It’s early days, but we’re starting to put that together in more of a unifying way, and hopefully at some point we can start to offer that to advertisers broadly.”

With the Kinect camera,the Xbox One has the ability to detect everything from the aforementioned voice commands to even a consumer’s heart rate. Based off of a gamer’s trends, Microsoft can compile data and send that to third-party advertisers, leading to a potential in spam, targeted ads within the Xbox One dashboard, etc. Of course, users can opt out out of this, but at what cost? Simply not signing an agreement? Not actually playing an Xbox One? You’re all better off getting a PlayStation 4; this news just helps affirm why the PS4 is a more consumer-friendly console than the Xbox One.

[via Advertising Age]

Geoff Henao

Geoff Henao is a writer/kinda photographer affiliated with the Chicago collective LOD. His interests include film, punk rock, cute girls, graphic novels, video games, and the Chicago Bulls. He's funny sometimes.

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