Xbox One and Kinect have caused quite a stir among gamers over fear that Microsoft will use both devices to monitor players to compile marketing data, then release it to advertisers. Despite claims that the company will not release said data to third-parties, Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi has allegedly hinted that this could happen at some point.
In an article called, “Xbox One’s Data Treasure Trove Could Reshape Marketing,” Advertising Age reports that VP of marketing and strategy Mehdi gave a lecture at the Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference on October 5. During the talk he discussed the company’s stance on marketing and apparently – according to the site – hinted that Xbox One marketing data could be released beyond the company’s borders.
The site doesn’t bear an actual quote however, so take this lightly.
Elsewhere, Mehdi said, “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.”
It follows comments from Microsoft’s Albert Penello, in which he downplayed the possibility that Xbox One’s Kinect bar would be watching players. He added that even if it did, it’d be something that users would have to opt in to.
At the time he said of Microsoft’s NuAds tech, “NuAds by definition is simply interactive advertising done on the platform. Using the functions of the console and Kinect to interact vs. just watching a spot. There’s nothing particularly interesting happening here unless you’re in the advertising business, and we’ve done a few on Xbox 360 today.
“What I think you’re asking about is an interview done earlier in the year where someone was talking about how some of the new Xbox One Kinect features *could* be used in advertising – since we can see expressions, engagement, etc. and how that might be used to target advertising. This is the point that seems to draw some controversy.
“First – nobody is working on that. We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I’m not aware of any active work in this space. Second – if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn’t happen without the user having control over it. Period.”
What do you make of the above?