When the multinational corporation began tempting us to purchase a network-connected camera to place in our living rooms, the Orwellian parts of us should have predicted this: Microsoft is hinting that it would like to use the Kinect to better target its content to users. That means gathering data from the camera – everything from basic demographics to what shirt you're wearing – and use it to tailor its media offerings. That is, to better cater marketing to you by allowing marketers access to Kinect-driven data.
That's not to say that Microsoft is toying with ideas that other companies like Facebook don't already employ, nor does it mean your Kinect is spying on you right now (although it could be – it's probably best just not to think about it). But at a conference last week Microsoft's Dennis Durkin, a VP in the company's interactive department, said at a conference he would like to use the Kinect to better target the media and advertising it presents to users.
Durkin's example: among people watching a sporting event, Kinect could differentiate between what jerseys they are wearing and deduce what team or teams they support (it would ostensibly do all this while also determining how many people are watching, the gender and age breakdown of the room, etc.). Advertisers could then target all or part of that group of people.
As DigitalTrends points out, that's not so different from what Facebook ads do, though culling information from a public profile someone voluntarily puts on the Web is a bit different than watching someone watch TV in their skivvies at four in the morning.
This is an invasion of privacy because any video signals should be between two parties. For example, if your nude and talking with your wife (presumably!) over the video phone what right have they got to 'peer into' that video stream? That's like eavesdropping on a phone but worse. Microsoft go fly a kite your talking BS if you think the public is going to allow for that. They will sue your behind off for breaking privacy laws.
WHAT IF I WANT TO DANCE AROUND NAKED!?!?
the marketers can then view my naked pictures it takes???
Telemarketers wouldn't know anything. Like Facebook, it would all be happening within your account, then requesting ad content.
There's an easy fix for this: cover the camera whenever you don't need to be seen by it. Don't do anything you wouldn't do in a public square when you are in front of the active and unblocked camera. Don't buy it to begin with.
I'm usually not one to get all up tight about privacy and the like - I really don't care if Homeland Security is tapping my phone as part of a random security scan while I talk to my Grandma. Because they really don't care about our conversation.
However, actually using a video camera bought for a video game console to watch you as you watch TV? That's definitely crossing the line. And this isn't government watching you, who is bound by strict confidentiality regulations - this would open up access to all sorts of people within the company.
I will not be buying Kinect, as a result of this statement that they made. As the article states, the fact that they are considering it means they already can use the Kinect to watch you in your home. If I wanted that, I'd leave my blinds open all the time.
Microsoft, you deserve bad publicity just for mentioning that you think this might be an acceptable use of the technology.
Big Brother Bill Gates is watching you . . .
The sad truth is that they will take it if they can. Insert whatever meaning you want into "it". Dont assume that privacy laws will prevent anything at all. Assume that some jackass at M$oft wont do it just cause he can.
If Micro$$oft thinks it can make a buck it will go ahead and make that buck until they are caught and/or told to stop.
"A body in motion...will stay in motion... until it is acted upon by an outside force." Just as that law is generally accepted to be applicable everywhere you can also assume that "they will take IT if they can until acted upon by an outside force."
well this will deffintly be illegal. its like having some one stare through your window blinds all day long.
but i am still going to end up buying this. but i'am going to block off the camera with a picture of Big Brother when i'am not using it. XD
IN SOVIET AMERICA, XBOX WATCH YOU!
i'll admitt that while not using kinect you can cover the camera or unplug it but what if i want to play games total naked or smoke weed(i dont though) while watch a movie using my xbox, or just dont want someone or something watching me, period. so i dont think this should be aloud to pass and someone should kick microsoft in the nuts then put a camera in their homes for us to watch
And nobody complains about their brand new laptop with a built-in camera/microphone running Microsoft Windows.
Think M$ can't/isn't watching you read PopSci right now?
Yes... they can, and probably will (if they don't already) watch you watch... well, whatever it is you watch on the Internet with your computer...
As for SteelyJoe and Homeland Security comment... hahaha! Maybe you don't mind them listening to your conversation with grandma, but how would you feel about them listening to your conversation with your girlfriend(s)... or boyfriends?
And, who's listening to their conversations / watching them on cameras to make sure they don't do anything unethical with the potentially sordid (and presumably private) details of your life?
Common sence people, I don't buy laptops with camera's and I disable built in microphones at work.
And Kinect would never make it into my home.
Microsoft has the technology to do it without your knowledge or concent, so what's stopping them?
Oh, by the way, Big Sis can do the same.
In Soviet Russia, Kinect doesn't spy on you.
Im a little late but this is creepy no shit lol