The fact that Kinect 2.0 can scan your face has been a point of worry for many potential users, and their fear was only increased when Albert Penello, Microsoft’s director of product planning, suggested that because of the Kinect’s abilities the data could indeed be provided to advertisers in order for them to gauge potential customer interest.
Albert has taken to NeoGaf in an attempt to alleviate concerns, pointing out that such a thing was purely speculative, a what-if scenario:
“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. ” He said before moving on to say:
“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. ”
Penello continued by explaining how Microsoft are dealing with these concerns. He said that Kinect can scan your face and log you in automatically. He continued by saying that Microsoft could have introduced a feature in which facial data was stored in the Cloud so that a friends system could recognise you, and that such a feature was heavily requested, but, “for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn’t leave the console.”
He went on to talk about another example in the form of Skype, saying: “You’ll see us do some things around Skype that freezes the video when Skype is not in focus (meaning, it’s not the primary app). If you go back to the home screen, or launch another app, we actually stop the video stream. We do this so the user can’t even ACCIDENTALLY have the video stream going on in the background. ”
“I’ll say this – we take a lot of heat around stuff we’ve done and I can roll with it. Some of it is deserved.” said Penello, rounding off his NeoGaf post, “But preventing Kinect from being used inappropriately is something the team takes very seriously. ”