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Microsoft reasons open access to Live's Online Safety Groups


Following the release of the latest 360 UI update, Microsoft's sought to clarify its new take on Live privacy and allowing users to set their own position with Live's Online Safety Groups.

Posting on the Xbox Engineering Blog, staffer Sarah Michael explained the reasoning behind allowing users to now select their own privacy settings on Live.

"Online safety groups have always existed, but have never been exposed to our users," she said.

Online Safety Groups determine what you can and can't do when using Live, as seen below.


Michael said customization has a key part of the decision to open the system up to users: "For the November 2010 release, we decided to expose these safety group templates for use outside of account creation. You can now click-to-apply an online safety group to your account.

"These online safety groups give the busy Xbox LIVE member a way to specify the desired level of protection without having to customize every aspect. You can always change yourself to a different group. If you don't like how we have defined the online safety groups, fear not! You can still tinker with individual settings to your heart's content."

Customization isn't the only plus.

"Beyond providing the one-click convenience, exposing the online safety groups gives us another benefit. It allows you, the user, to signify to us, the service, how protected you want to be when we create new online safety settings," Michael added.

Previously, the Online Safety Group a user belonged to was automatically determined using a variety of factors.

There's a boatload more through there.

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Patrick Garratt


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