"We Are Watching You" Legislation Could Affect Xbox One

"We Are Watching You" Legislation Could Affect Xbox One

Xbox One Kinect

A proposed bill could force Microsoft to give users more options on how it uses data gathered with Kinect.

Whereas the Kinect has largely been an add-on to the Xbox 360, Microsoft has made no bones about the Xbox One integrating its version of the motion control hardware in big and significant ways. The console's heavy reliance on Kinect, which will watch and listen to users at all times while active, could prove problematic however, if currently proposed legislation finds traction in Washington.

The We Are Watching You Act, proposed by representatives Michael Capuano (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) would place restrictions on technology that monitors and records the data of American citizens. If the bill were to pass, hardware like the Kinect would be required to provide users with an opt-in message and a warning whenever it began recording data. Microsoft would also be required to inform users on how data is being collected and who could potentially see it. If a user were to make the choice to opt out of being monitored, Microsoft would need to offer identical Kinect services to accommodate said user's privacy.

"[This technology] would essentially observe consumers as they watch television as a way to super-target ads. It is an incredible invasion of privacy," said a press release on the bill. "Think about how you would feel sharing that information with your cable company, their advertisers and your government." While Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox One's Kinect can be turned off, the passage of this legislation would probably still throw a few wrenches into Microsoft's plans for increased Kinect integration. Even if the changes made weren't dramatic, we somehow get the feeling a mandatory, on-screen "we are watching you" warning message probably wouldn't do much for the Xbox One's arguable image problem.

Source: The United States House of Representatives

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This might actually get some attention. The republicans are trying to pass an abortion bill right now, and after that Xbone reveal...

Democrats and Republicans working together? Microsoft is clearly trying to destroy America! ;P

It's probably just a token PR bill or an excuse to attach some completely unrelated riders/pork. I highly doubt the U.S. government would veto one of their greatest providers of information on U.S. citizens et al.

DVS BSTrD:
This might actually get some attention. The republicans are trying to pass an abortion bill right now, and after that Xbone reveal...

image

4 rlz tho, in light of recent revelations in regards to data interception by the US government of a still hazy scale & scope, this bill is probably not a bad idea

(this applies to non-americans too; ask Kim Dotcom how much pull the feds have abroad)

Hope this bill passes, SEEMS like an actual good one. It'd be nice to see Washington get something done that isn't reprehensible for a change of pace.

Please, as if this Facebook generation generously sharing all their life would mind! Microsoft just has to build in some archievements and everything is jolly.

I really like the idea of forcing companies to give you the same service if you opt out of sharing data.

However, displaying a warning screen whenever data is being recorded may be a bit irritating.

XBrother is watching you?

At least, in 1984, the dictatorship was free and reliable, whereas Microsoft's model of a dystopia involves victims paying for it AND regular catastrophic failures of the surveillance system.

When you add in those that are playing are under age, then this spying with kinect becomes illegal. CCTV isnt allowed to face peoples homes, so no idea why Xbone can do this.

If a user were to make the choice to opt out of being monitored, Microsoft would need to offer identical Kinect services to accommodate said user's privacy

This is the important bit.

The current "you can turn it off" option means that, in order to protect your privacy, you have to give up on the attached services. Such a bill passing would be a huge step towards curbing corporate abuse of their customers via captive market strategies (the well known "our way or the highway" routine).

Cue Microsoft techs execs trying to come up with a reason for such a thing not being "feasible on the current hardware".

....Because the NSA don't want any competition for when they're spying on the entire nation.

WaitWHAT:
....Because the NSA don't want any competition for when they're spying on the entire nation.

Microsoft's been working with them on the Prism program since 2007 at least.

But if this legislation passes how will the NSA spy on gamers? Oh right, the internet and their phone conversations.

I think they should use their ill gotten data to see howmany people playing racing games tilt the controller when going around corners, or the more extreme condition of tilting their entire body. We need to know!

Hilarious. Yet another hurdle for M$ to jump. Personally i'd enjoy it if they just gave up on the Xbone and admitted defeat but as that isn't likely to happen i'll just keep revelling in the Schadenfreude

Wow, did not see that coming. So either MS needs to rework their system, or try to get this bill to fail. Lots of people are antsy with that whole NSA thing. Paranoid that someone is watching and documenting your calls and information. Funny thing is someone always is, but not the government. Companies like your credit card are watching your buying habits, phone companies are looking at how much you use their services. There's not a moment when you don't have someone observing you. I wonder why when it's the government, it becomes alot more scary.

Arawn:
I wonder why when it's the government, it becomes alot more scary.

Because governments can change - and what is legal to do, speak about and admit to today can become illegal, send that person straight to jail under a different regime with changed laws. Don't think that it could never happen, it very easily can.

Does the legislation require every idiot on the street that has Google Glass to hand out a flier stating "Hello. I have Google Glass currently active and will be recording at a constant rate. This record goes to Google, the US government they sell it to, as well as any other partnering 3rd Party. If you opt to not be recorded, please get the fuck off the street and back into your home. Thank you." ??????

Adam Jensen:

WaitWHAT:
....Because the NSA don't want any competition for when they're spying on the entire nation.

Microsoft's been working with them on the Prism program since 2007 at least.

image

I'll add this to the rapidly-growing list of reasons not to purchase an XBOX one.

Hey, maybe if this bill passes, Microsoft will dump the Kinect 2.0 requirement!

That would be one reason for me to get an XBone, instead of none.

Arawn:
Wow, did not see that coming. So either MS needs to rework their system, or try to get this bill to fail. Lots of people are antsy with that whole NSA thing. Paranoid that someone is watching and documenting your calls and information. Funny thing is someone always is, but not the government. Companies like your credit card are watching your buying habits, phone companies are looking at how much you use their services. There's not a moment when you don't have someone observing you. I wonder why when it's the government, it becomes alot more scary.

fact, Target is able to make a mail catalog specifically tailored to you exactly 17 seconds after you enter their store. Yes, they have people looking at recordings of you and make observations on how you dress, any accessories you have, who is with you, and based on spending habits able to promote certain items for you.

OT: This bill sounds like it could hurt Microsoft, but that isn't their main target, I dont think.

Many elements in our daily lives can gather info on you, from cctv security camera's in stores, to ATM camera's across the street. so this bill could be entirely aimed at other's, but Microsoft's Kinect bullshit is the most visible, since of course they came out and claimed that it could record everything in your room.

Then again, if Microsoft really wants to know what I do in my spare time, being single of course, I could just send them a dvd and save them the hassle of trying to convince me that I need a Kinect, which they haven't been able to so far.

If this passes then that will be one more smack to, "AHEM", legalised invasive surveillance.

Recently this happened.

Anyone else think this is one of the most ridiculous bill names ever? "We Are Watching You" sounds more like the name they'd give a bill that legalizes spying on citizens.

 

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