Microsoft discloses how Kinect collects private data

Microsoft discloses how Kinect collects private data
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

November 1st 2013 at 12:10PM

Computing giant also explains how developers and users can use facial expressions to control gameplay on Xbox One titles

Microsoft has detailed how the Xbox One motion sensing peripheral Kinect collects information and personal data.

In a new privacy statement, the firm said the tech is able to measure the distance between key points on a user's face to create a specific numeric value for that player. This information is then used to authenticate that user when they access the console.

Microsoft was keen to stress that it would not be possible for anyone viewing such data to know that it represents a certain person, as it only gathers numerical information.

The privacy statement noted that developers will be able to use facial expressions as a form of input to affect the game. This means that certain expressions could be used to control or influence gameplay.

Microsoft said data collected from this is not used to identify users, and would be destroyed after a game session.

Users will be able to control how their photographs taken during gameplay will be used by Microsoft, and whether any voice commands are collected by the company for analysis.

Microsoft also said that for certain titles, skeletal movements can be used to estimate exercise stats, but players will be able to decided whether this information is shared.

As for voice chat in games over Xbox Live, the firm said users "should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features such as voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions offered through the services".

"We may monitor these communications to the extent permitted by law, but we cannot monitor the entire Service and make no attempt to do so. You understand that others can record and use these communications. Communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions may also be broadcast to others. Please note that Xbox does not listen in on Skype calls."

You can find more information on Microsoft's Xbox One and Kinect privacy policies here.