After the initial Xbox One press events this spring, concerns were a dime a dozen, but one of the truly legitimate ones was about what Microsoft would do with the data Kinect makes available to the company.
Talking to All Things D this week, Microsoft went on record saying that Kinect won’t be recording data for marketing purposes.
As Polygon notes, fan concerns were reignited after an interview with Yusuf Mehdi last week with Advertising Age. Mehdi said in the interview that Microsoft is trying to “bridge some of the world between online and offline.”
“We have a pretty unique position at Microsoft because of what we do with digital, as well as more and more with television because of Xbox,” he said. Advertising Age elaborated on this by linking it directly to Kinect despite the ambiguity of the statement.
Microsoft said, though, that the quote isn’t related to Kinect, but rather the more general Xbox One platform, specifically mentioning SmartGlass as one aspect of that.
“We have a long-standing commitment to your privacy and will not target ads to you based on any data Kinect collects unless you choose to allow us to do so,” Microsoft told All Things D, which could suggest that such a thing might be possible via an opt-in program later.
This could be part of the heavily subsidized Xbox we hear rumors about occasionally; Prepay for a couple years of Xbox Live and opt-in to advertising Kindle-style for a cheaper system. This is pure speculation, of course. Polygon also notes that–also last week–Microsoft’s director of product planning, Albert Penello, wrote on the NeoGAF forums that Kinect isn’t designed with ad functionality in mind.