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

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.

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Dave Cook avatar

Dave Cook


Dave worked on VG247 for an extended period manging much of the site's news output. As well as his experience in games media, he writes for comics, and now specializes in books about gaming history.