Xbox One Kinect Is A Surveillance Device, Says Australia’s Civil Liberty Director


By William Usher

While the initial reveal of the Xbox One had many people bemoaning all the TV functionality, with core gamers lamenting the lack of real games on showcase, the real issues eventually began cropping up when Microsoft executives began speaking freely about some of the more controversial aspects of the console.

One of those controversial aspects is the Kinect’s required use in order for the Xbox One console to operate at all. Even more than that, the Kinect is always-listening and always-on. While this issue may not be much of a problem for some, it’s important to keep in mind that there are very strict privacy laws in various countries that really do take consumer rights into deep consideration and Australia’s Civil Liberty Director wants Microsoft to be a lot more forthcoming about Kinect 2.0.

Australia’s Nine MSN gaming division spotted quotes from the Civil Liberty Director, Tim Vines, who stated that…

“People should have the ability to turn off the camera or microphone, even if it limits the functionality of the machine,” [privacy is] “all about control”.

“Of course, if Microsoft doesn’t allow that (control), then people should vote with their wallets and skip the next Xbox.”

Whoa, we got a Hold The Wallet member here in the Civil Liberty Director! Maybe he should join Reclaim Your Game and fight for what’s right?

On a more serious note, Vines also echoes measures of legal concerns that Germany’s own Federal Data Commissioner, Peter Schaar, recently mentioned regarding the invasion of privacy from Kinect, saying…

“Microsoft’s new Xbox meets the definition of a surveillance device under some Australian laws, so they need to be upfront and tell customers whether anyone else can intercept their information or remotely access their device,”

Some gamers don’t mind having a camera on them at all times and perhaps they would like to re-live moments from the movie

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