Microsoft SmartGlass is "a Great Way to Spy on Your Kids"

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Microsoft SmartGlass is "a Great Way to Spy on Your Kids"

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Could SmartGlass act as a monitoring tool for parents?

During a GDC talk today in San Francisco, Microsoft's Rosa Thomas spoke to attendees about the benefits of using the company's SmartGlass platform for second screen experiences. While most of the discussion focused on how developers can utilize SmartGlass for their own purposes (this is GDC after all), Thomas did mention reveal one rather peculiar usage she has found for the Xbox SmartGlass application: Monitoring the activities of her children.

"You get to know what's happening on your Xbox wherever your Xbox is," Thomas explains. "So, interesting enough, I was at work, testing my stuff, and I'm looking and I forgot that I had actually connected to my home Xbox, and I got to see what my kids were doing at home. It's a great way to spy on your kids, I'll tell you."

Now, while her comment was delivered in a completely off-the-cuff manner, it does shed some light on how powerful of a tool SmartGlass could become for parents. Using SmartGlass, an individual can completely control the functions of whatever Xbox 360 it is linked to. In fact, Thomas later added that she got a laugh out of repeatedly pausing her husband's Netflix stream while he sat at home trying to figure out why his movie kept stopping.

The days of a youngster flipping on the game console as soon as the parental units depart for work could very well be coming to an end. The horror!

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i hope every parent uses this, it will do wonders for the call of duty community.

If you need this to know your kids will behave you aren't a good parent. If you use this to dick over your SO then you aren't a good SO.

Why do they keep peddling this stuff. It already exists in the market, it's just not official MS brand, oh no. Haha, all well. If your parents can use it to spy on their kids, strangers can use it to spy on everyone, that's a comforting thought.

ThePS1Fan:
If you need this to know your kids will behave you aren't a good parent. If you use this to dick over your SO then you aren't a good SO.

So monitoring your kids is a sign of a bad parent? What planet are you from?

GoldenShadow:

ThePS1Fan:
If you need this to know your kids will behave you aren't a good parent. If you use this to dick over your SO then you aren't a good SO.

So monitoring your kids is a sign of a bad parent? What planet are you from?

There's a big difference from keeping sharp things away from toddlers and making sure teenagers don't swear online. Or god help us all see some boobs in a videogame.

I don't really have a problem with monitoring buuuuuuuuut...

MikeWehner:
Using SmartGlass, an individual can completely control the functions of whatever Xbox 360 it is linked to. In fact, Thomas later added that she got a laugh out of repeatedly pausing her husband's Netflix stream while he sat at home trying to figure out why his movie kept stopping.

Yeah... abusing it like this isn't going to backfire at ALL. ~_~

I confess, I will occasionally nudge the mouse when an IT representative is remote controlling my computer to update some program that only an IT representative is allowed to update in mouse-intensive sequences of the installation.

I would have too much fun trolling family with this system. It's good that I do not own it.

so... I'm in the dark here. What, exactly is smart glass?

AC10:
so... I'm in the dark here. What, exactly is smart glass?

Microsoft's response to the Whee Yew by turning your tablet into a sort of controller for the Ex-Bawks Tree-saxty.

This sounds like an amazing way to troll someone so hard, they'll snap their controller.

"I'mma keep pausing your shit, hope you don't mind. Tehe."

Cool, I also hope that parents take advantage of this.

And before people say "But you should trust your kids!": If kids were even remotely trustworthy, then using the SmartGlass wouldn't be worth taking advantage.

ThePS1Fan:

GoldenShadow:

ThePS1Fan:
If you need this to know your kids will behave you aren't a good parent. If you use this to dick over your SO then you aren't a good SO.

So monitoring your kids is a sign of a bad parent? What planet are you from?

There's a big difference from keeping sharp things away from toddlers and making sure teenagers don't swear online. Or god help us all see some boobs in a videogame.

That's up to the parent, not you. Stop trying to impose your will on someone else's kids.

And if a parent has no issues with their kids swearing online/seeing boobs, then they won't have issues with seeing it on SmartGlass.

Nothing like "accidentally" mashing the Xbox Live menu button from miles away.

*parents disqualified from tournament*

The day I left for college I became convinced that everyone under the age of 18 should be shackeled as a rule.

If not in shackles for any period of time, they should be in uniform and reciting physics equations and mathematical formulae.

Three cheers for microsoft for this critically needed advance.

AC10:
so... I'm in the dark here. What, exactly is smart glass?

Its kinda like gorilla glass but made from dolphins.

Yeah, better monitor those kids, lest they are encouraged to become space marines, or start shooting fireballs from their hands..

thiosk:

Its kinda like gorilla glass but made from dolphins.

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Sounds good, my son had a hissy fit when I talked to his mother about Xbox live. He is mature enough to understand violence in most games, I have no problem with him playing shooters etc. They are no worse than TV series like Strike Back or 24.

I talked his mum out of getting him XBL because I do not want him steeped in that racist, misogynistic and hateful culture. After I showed her some of the messages that get passed around and some of the voice chat she agreed. I could trust him to avoid that and see it for what it is but the risk, its not right. I do not want him to become adjusted to that and think is normal, neither do I want him joining in just to be "one of the lads".

If I could monitor it and what he was doing like on his laptop I would be happier, I know he looks at boobies etc and I do not care. Never spoke to him about it, if he was involved in anything stupid or acting in a bigoted way I would sort it out fast. On his PC and phone I have the option to keep on eye on things.

XBL culture though....

J Tyran:
Sounds good, my son had a hissy fit when I talked to his mother about Xbox live. He is mature enough to understand violence in most games, I have no problem with him playing shooters etc. They are no worse than TV series like Strike Back or 24.

I talked his mum out of getting him XBL because I do not want him steeped in that racist, misogynistic and hateful culture. After I showed her some of the messages that get passed around and some of the voice chat she agreed. I could trust him to avoid that and see it for what it is but the risk, its not right. I do not want him to become adjusted to that and think is normal, neither do I want him joining in just to be "one of the lads".

If I could monitor it and what he was doing like on his laptop I would be happier, I know he looks at boobies etc and I do not care. Never spoke to him about it, if he was involved in anything stupid or acting in a bigoted way I would sort it out fast. On his PC and phone I have the option to keep on eye on things.

XBL culture though....

If memory serves you can set up an xbox live child account that essentially blocks voice chat unless you are on each others friend list. I don't know if you can set it up that way for messaging, but if so that might be something to consider.

But seriously, +1 parenting.

lacktheknack:
Cool, I also hope that parents take advantage of this.

And before people say "But you should trust your kids!": If kids were even remotely trustworthy, then using the SmartGlass wouldn't be worth taking advantage.

ThePS1Fan:

GoldenShadow:

So monitoring your kids is a sign of a bad parent? What planet are you from?

There's a big difference from keeping sharp things away from toddlers and making sure teenagers don't swear online. Or god help us all see some boobs in a videogame.

That's up to the parent, not you. Stop trying to impose your will on someone else's kids.

And if a parent has no issues with their kids swearing online/seeing boobs, then they won't have issues with seeing it on SmartGlass.

OK, that makes sense, but just gonna throw this out there. Just because the parents don't care about that stuff doesn't mean the kid would be comfortable with their parents seeing it. Everyone should be able to enjoy things privately if they choose so. Monitoring things like credit cards I 100 percent understand but with something like this I feel there needs to be a discussion about boundaries.

tofulove:
i hope every parent uses this, it will do wonders for the call of duty community.

Not if said parents bought the game for them, it happens depressingly often.

ThePS1Fan:

lacktheknack:
Cool, I also hope that parents take advantage of this.

And before people say "But you should trust your kids!": If kids were even remotely trustworthy, then using the SmartGlass wouldn't be worth taking advantage.

ThePS1Fan:

There's a big difference from keeping sharp things away from toddlers and making sure teenagers don't swear online. Or god help us all see some boobs in a videogame.

That's up to the parent, not you. Stop trying to impose your will on someone else's kids.

And if a parent has no issues with their kids swearing online/seeing boobs, then they won't have issues with seeing it on SmartGlass.

OK, that makes sense, but just gonna throw this out there. Just because the parents don't care about that stuff doesn't mean the kid would be comfortable with their parents seeing it. Everyone should be able to enjoy things privately if they choose so. Monitoring things like credit cards I 100 percent understand but with something like this I feel there needs to be a discussion about boundaries.

I monitor my kids use of his laptop, I do not pry or overly invade his privacy. You can search for keywords, certain sites and other stuff without actually going through his chat or his web history item by item. At the end of the day he is a kid and vulnerable and like any kid might not understand what he is getting into.

If he browses porn fine, I do not even go to the site unless the searches he used or the sites themselves are unusual (as in decapitated animal head sex unusual). What I want to know is if someone could be grooming him, or if for some reason he started hanging around a neo nazi website or anything else worrying.

When he is 16 and buying his own computers he can do what he likes, until then I want to know if he is safe and not going down any dark paths.

J Tyran:
I monitor my kids use of his laptop, I do not pry or overly invade his privacy. You can search for keywords, certain sites and other stuff without actually going through his chat or his web history item by item. At the end of the day he is a kid and vulnerable and like any kid might not understand what he is getting into.

If he browses porn fine, I do not even go to the site unless the searches he used or the sites themselves are unusual (as in decapitated animal head sex unusual). What I want to know is if someone could be grooming him, or if for some reason he started hanging around a neo nazi website or anything else worrying.

When he is 16 and buying his own computers he can do what he likes, until then I want to know if he is safe and not going down any dark paths.

One question. Does he know you do this? If he knows and understands why then that's cool. If not, well whatever you bought the computer you can do what you want I suppose. Still, I'd rather know.

Wow if this works with the next xbox and that does have a built in kinect the perverts are going to have a field day!

Afterall hacking laptops and using there webcams is easy enough.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/03/rat-breeders-meet-the-men-who-spy-on-women-through-their-webcams/

ThePS1Fan:

J Tyran:
I monitor my kids use of his laptop, I do not pry or overly invade his privacy. You can search for keywords, certain sites and other stuff without actually going through his chat or his web history item by item. At the end of the day he is a kid and vulnerable and like any kid might not understand what he is getting into.

If he browses porn fine, I do not even go to the site unless the searches he used or the sites themselves are unusual (as in decapitated animal head sex unusual). What I want to know is if someone could be grooming him, or if for some reason he started hanging around a neo nazi website or anything else worrying.

When he is 16 and buying his own computers he can do what he likes, until then I want to know if he is safe and not going down any dark paths.

One question. Does he know you do this? If he knows and understands why then that's cool. If not, well whatever you bought the computer you can do what you want I suppose. Still, I'd rather know.

He knows, he also knows he doesn't have the full admin account and that the parental control software is on the machine. I explained it to him on condition of getting it in the first place. He understands why and he understands that I am very liberal person in general so a lot of stuff wouldn't freak me out like some parents, I also had a good talk with him about the kind of people he chats with and to watch for certain things.

I admit that I do mostly trust him, just for my piece of mind I like to make sure. Its just an extension of not letting him wander around the streets at night (because of robbery etc) and give him lifts. Just general parent fussing, when hes older like 14 and older I will probably stop it as he should have enough sense to keep himself safe and I think hes turning out to be a good kid so I do not need to worry that much about what he is doing.

GoldenShadow:

ThePS1Fan:
If you need this to know your kids will behave you aren't a good parent. If you use this to dick over your SO then you aren't a good SO.

So monitoring your kids is a sign of a bad parent? What planet are you from?

No, giving tools to monitor the kids to bad parents is bad parenting.

Strazdas:

GoldenShadow:

ThePS1Fan:
If you need this to know your kids will behave you aren't a good parent. If you use this to dick over your SO then you aren't a good SO.

So monitoring your kids is a sign of a bad parent? What planet are you from?

No, giving tools to monitor the kids to bad parents is bad parenting.

I don't understand how giving a monitoring tool to bad parents = bad parenting.

Kheapathic:

Strazdas:

GoldenShadow:

So monitoring your kids is a sign of a bad parent? What planet are you from?

No, giving tools to monitor the kids to bad parents is bad parenting.

I don't understand how giving a monitoring tool to bad parents = bad parenting.

Because when a bad parent who gains such tools gains the power to induce its bad parenting into his child more effectively it does not end well for the child, and often, for the parent too.

And thus the days of functional human relationships built on trust and respect came to an end.

What's the ultimate logic endpoint of this shit?

Strazdas:

Kheapathic:

Strazdas:

No, giving tools to monitor the kids to bad parents is bad parenting.

I don't understand how giving a monitoring tool to bad parents = bad parenting.

Because when a bad parent who gains such tools gains the power to induce its bad parenting into his child more effectively it does not end well for the child, and often, for the parent too.

I'm assuming we have different ideas of what bad parenting is, as I fail to see how a device that only monitors the 360 will cause more harm for a child. It anything it empowers the parent to help regulate how the console is used, even while they're away. Stopping a child from playing the 360 isn't bad parenting, it's parenting.

ThePS1Fan:
If you need this to know your kids will behave you aren't a good parent. If you use this to dick over your SO then you aren't a good SO.

Strazdas:
So monitoring your kids is a sign of a bad parent? What planet are you from? ... That's up to the parent, not you. Stop trying to impose your will on someone else's kids.

You know this is exactly the line that I hear from the hitting your kid is okay because it is in the bible crowd.[1] My generation was raised under the premise that individual Americans knew better how to parent their kids than science, society or the government, so when a kid was obviously being abused in public no-one intervened on the basis it wasn't their business and the parent knew what he was doing. And I have permanent damage from my upbringing that stays with me to this very day, so I tend to get a bit suspect when someone gives carte blanche over a child's life exclusively to a couple of unqualified, unmonitored adults.

No, remote monitoring a kid doesn't singlehandedly determine whether or not you're doing a good job parenting, but it definitely adds an element of creepy (probably from the distrust it implies). I suppose that a better determining factor is what you do with the information you garner from your surveilance: if you're calling him and telling him to turn off the console and do his homework, that sounds a bit like micromanagement.[2]. If you're letting him know the secret he just walked past, not so much.

GoldenShadow:
No, giving tools to monitor the kids to bad parents is bad parenting.

Using a machine to parent your kids certainly has its risks, and it's technologies like this one that are prone to abuse, either through repurposing or overreliance (meaning they can be hacked, or the justification that remote-monitoring a child is the equivilant to hanging with or interacting with her.) But this isn't the first time that Microsoft has added parental controls for their ready use and abuse. Maybe the folks at Big MS have Teletubby fantasies.

You know, this can (and will) also be used in reverse. A kid will make sure the parent is mastering a speedrun while raiding the pot stash...or practicing her marital skills.

238U

[1] And granted, some spankers do so with such restraint that they can still be good parents... but this is not the typical case.
[2] A distrusting relationship is always a bad sign. One of you needs to get eaten by a sabertooth so that the community can move forward.

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oh, man. this is is going to be sweet when the parents see how their little butter flakes behave during halo and COD..

Somehow I think there might be an easy work around - pull out the ethernet cable connecting your Xbox to the Internet. Okay, so you can't play online (or use netflix) but at least you'd have full control over the Xbox.

Also, I can't wait for the stories of this getting hacked in some way.

Doesnt a big popup appear at the bottom of the screen saying "Xbox Smartglass Connected"? I would say thats sorta an issue for spying. Anyway my smartglass app for my phone has a terrible habit of just logging out everytime i lock my phone screen, meaning when unlock the screen the popup appears again saying connected to smartglass. I dont know how useful it actually would be for spying. This is totally disregarding the why would you do it sorta thing, I am just talking about the technical issues with it, not why or why not you would do it. It just doesnt seem that... stealthy?

Good. It's about time that MS stepped in to regulate Xbox Live. The sheer amount of assholes living in there bars none except for the original DotA community.

Strazdas:
Because when a bad parent who gains such tools gains the power to induce its bad parenting into his child more effectively it does not end well for the child, and often, for the parent too.

I've got a saying that shows my point, so I'll quote that.

"Anyone can buy a chainsaw. Idiots will cut their legs off."

I also have to point out that bad parenting is all subjective, as many people have been brought up many, many different ways, and the vast majority of us is fine. Bad parenting in your eye's may or may not be parenting in someone else's eyes.

bringer of illumination:
And thus the days of functional human relationships built on trust and respect came to an end.

What's the ultimate logic endpoint of this shit?

Stop jumping down the slippery slope man! It won't harm the people who aren't using MS' wonderful surveillance invention. Calm down, it's going to be fine.

J Tyran:
Snipi

We need more parents like you. I'd shake your hand if I could, but since we're on the Internet, a nice +1 should do the job.

Reminds me a bit of the MiiPC that Young Song had a kickstarter for, only that one was meant for general internet monitoring across the entire board. I guess there is a product for everyone: even paranoid watch dogs.

tofulove:
i hope every parent uses this, it will do wonders for the call of duty community.

if the parents are dumb enough to buy their child call of duty I don't think they're going to stop them from playing it...

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