Xbox One: Kinect data capture explained in new Microsoft blog post

Friday, 1st November 2013 09:59 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One’s Kinect-based data capture has caused quite a stir this year, and no Microsoft has taken to its blog to set records straight once and for all.

This is something that Microsoft’s Albert Penello has discussed with gamers at length, in an attempt to cool fears over personal data being sent to third-party companies and advertisers.

Reporting on the matter, IGN flagged up Microsoft’s new privacy statement blog, which explains how data is collected while playing, and how it is then used.

Under the section labelled ‘Kinect’, Microsoft writes, “The camera can be used to sign you in. To do so, it measures distances between key points on your face to create a numeric value that represents only you. No one could look at the numbers and know they represent you. This authentication information stays on the console and is not shared with anyone.”

Microsoft stressed that said Kinect data exists as a, “very long set of numbers,” and added that ,”[n]o one could look at the numbers and know they represent you.” Said numbers are apparently deleted after you exit your current play session and are re-generated the next time you play.

The blog explains, “Microsoft may collect those numeric values to enable and improve gameplay and improve the gaming experience.” However, they are, “destroyed after analysis is complete.”

The Kinect section continues, “You control what happens to photographs taken during gameplay and whether voice commands are captured for analysis. You can turn Kinect off at any time. When Kinect is used with certain games and apps, your skeletal movements can be used to estimate exercise stats. You can decide how your stats are managed and whether they are shared.

“Some game titles may take advantage of a new Xbox capability called expressions. This feature allows you to use your defined facial expressions to control or influence a game. This data does not identify you, stays on the console and is destroyed once your session ends.”

A line further on in the post covers personal information such as profiles and payment details. It reads, “Except as described in this privacy statement, we won’t disclose your personal information to a third party without your consent.”

On targeted advertising created from data capture, Microsoft explains, “You may opt out of receiving targeted ads from Microsoft Advertising by visiting our opt-out page.”

What do you make of the above? It seems pretty concrete and clear doesn’t it? Are you still uneasy about the capture tech however? Let us know below.



  1. Templar_Dante

    Oh, yeah. Sure.. I believe ya! …

    #1 1 year ago
  2. RefuseBunny

    Um, if I end up getting an Xbox One I’ll simply exercise my right to not plug Kinect in.
    There are no features of Kinect that appeal to me so it’s a simple decision that I’ve already made.
    It’s nothing to do with being paranoid about data mining or being watched while I have a game of naked UNO. It just doesn’t appeal to me.

    Right now I’m leaning more towards PS4 but I won’t be making this decision fully for about 6 months or a year.

    I’ll just see how it pans out.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Templar_Dante

    @ REFUSEBUNNY, its not as one dimensional to assume Kinect is the only gateway for them. They could use your conversations via mic to add to your profile your interests.
    EG: You and mate playing Fifa.

    “Hey mate, Are you watching the Arsenal/Liverpool game tomorrow???”

    “Oh yeah, you bet! Suarez is going to score a hattrick!”

    Your console records key words that trigger remote Azure brand recognised ad’s to be sent to you via the dashboard for Arsenal. For your mate, Liverpool.

    Their patents exist for this and your data never leaves your console. It would however trigger certain ad’s to come to you.

    You could avoid the mic, right? But judging by the way Yusuf Mehdi talks Xbox 1, advertising is a major aim. I bet any game you play, say, Fifa? You select your fav team when you boot the game up? Arsenal. Expect Arsenal store adverts on the dashboard.

    They said it themselves, the entire Xbox ecosystem was designed with advertising in mind.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. RefuseBunny

    @3 I’m not overly worried about targeted ads. I was just pointing out the fact that I won’t be plugging in the Kinect because it just doesn’t interest me.

    Dave actually points out above that you can turn targeted ads off for your Microsoft account at
    This should mean that you would only see general ads.
    Whether it stops them collecting data about you is another question.

    It doesn’t really bother me if Microsoft wants to collect mundane data about me just as long as they don’t do anything too evil with it.

    I already know that the Xbox One was designed with advertising “in mind” which is one of the reasons why I’m leaning more towards PS4.
    It really annoys me that I see adverts on Xbox 360 despite paying for Xbox Live Gold.

    Like I said above, I’m going to wait and see how it all develops over the next 6 – 12 months.

    Also, it’s not a huge point but I don’t like football. ;)

    #4 1 year ago
  5. ignoreLander

    I am still uneasy because they are lying.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Nephilimator

    Does their privacy statement really mean anything when the NSA can just sit at the head end of their link and suck down anything they want just like they have been doing to Google and Yahoo?

    #6 1 year ago
  7. schnide

    When the first Xbox launched, Microsoft absolutely swore blind that it was all about the games and it always would be.

    How false that was it apparent now for all to see.

    If you really trust Microsoft that they won’t ultimately exploit your facial gestures for the interactive Kinect ads, with a change in the user agreement once the One is in enough homes, I think we’ll all have a nasty surprise coming.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Playmaker

    It’s all good bc I’m going to wear tinfoil on my head.

    I want XB1 for kinect services as described by Albert. If you don’t want them don’t but an XB1. Buy the PS4 or wait until Steambox or w/e Google and Apple have coming up.

    No, because and Google and Apple will also include visual and audio controls bc its part of the future and no one can hold it back.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Playmaker

    @5 if they are lying prove it and file a class-action lawsuit. I want a piece of that monetary fallout. MS is smart enough to change the agreements so that they’re protected. Much as any smart company would do. In the US, a company = human being so we’re at a disadvantage as consumers.

    I’m still getting XB1 bc I’m not paranoid

    #9 1 year ago
  10. truth

    @2 you can’t use the xbone without the kinect plugged in. You can turn it “off” but it still has to be plugged in :/

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Nephilimator

    Butthurt that kinect sucks and everybody laughs at it.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. polygem

    i don’t know why there’s all this bold dualcock talking when the x1 has this huge new kinect thing. you can play doctor with that one. it even has a camera. it wins the sextoy wars hands down.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. zoopdeloop

    “that”man must be really in a very tough spot there coming next gen and making all these alt accounts just to troll.pitiful

    #13 1 year ago
  14. polygem


    #14 1 year ago
  15. pcbros

    “Microsoft stressed that said Kinect data exists as a, ‘very long set of numbers,’ and added that ,‘[n]o one could look at the numbers and know they represent you.’ Said numbers are apparently deleted after you exit your current play session and are re-generated the next time you play.”

    Hopefully this eases those fears of Microsoft spying on you will making out…

    #15 1 year ago
  16. livewired500

    Don’t worry people. It’s just numbers. A bunch of 1′s and 0′s. MS only generates and transmits numbers over the internet. Nothing to worry about here.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Gigabomber

    This is great. People failing to realize that almost every laptop and many desktop monitors currently sold have a camera in it and they haven’t thrown a fit about that.

    You should be worried about the NSA, not Microsoft. And the voice commands are very convenient, in case you don’t use them yet.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. mal617

    Who cares

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Nephilimator

    @21 Microsoft willingly hands over your data to the NSA:

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Nephilimator

    Yup, but not willingly like Microsoft creating back doors specifically into their software for the NSA to use at free will AKA Skype and Xbone.

    #20 1 year ago

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