The image, based on half-truths and outdated information, plays on fears to stir up ire for the just-announced Xbox One, and I think there’s a lot worth debunking and discussing here.
While Kinect needs to be connected, it can be disabled in the system settings. The system can be turned completely off, too, according to a Kotaku article last week.
And sure, yeah, one in two webcams can be hacked, but this webcam is on a system with a very limited number of ways to execute code on it, and you can bet the version of IE included with the system is going to be heavily sandboxed. The Xbox 360 is yet to be compromised through software in any way that hasn’t been immediately addressed – it requires a hardware mod. The hypervisor that runs the Windows and Xbox operating systems is going to be locked down even tighter after nearly 8 years of security research with the current console.
The thing is, if you’re afraid of having an always-on camera and microphone near you, probably get rid of your cellphone, because it’s equally risky, especially with an open platform like Android.
And yes, Microsoft has filed a patent to use the Kinect as a way to target ads and make advertising interactive. They haven’t said anything about helping the government or that the Kinect will be used in advertising. They’ve filed a patent. That happens as much because they want to keep other companies from profiting off it as much as because they intend to use it. I’m not ascribing any good will to Microsoft here.
Even if they do use it to target ads, I would rather see ads relevant to me, rather than see something totally out of left field. Hulu could be much less irritating, for example. And don’t say you shouldn’t see any ads anywhere at all ever, because you live in 2013 and that’s not how it works.
Using the camera to enforce viewer limits and viewer presence on paid content and ads is, again, a possibility, but not one that’s terribly likely considering the Kinect unit can be disabled. Similarly, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 can detect whether you’re watching the screen or not. Imagine if an ad stopped every time you looked away. It’s a possibility, but an unlikely one.
With all that said, there are concerns, and Microsoft needs to address them. When the Kinect is disabled, is it truly off? Can both the microphone and the camera be turned off? What happens if I throw a little blanket over the camera? Will anything be done with data mining? Who will have access to our information?
There are concerns that need Microsoft’s attention, but a fear graphic (is that a thing?) like this full of half truths doesn’t help the situation. And don’t forget, Sony’s system most likely comes with a camera, too, and so does the Wii U.
As IGN’s Brian Altano said in this video, “Just explain it, Microsoft; because if you don’t, we’ll make stuff up!”
The Galaxy S20 Ultra's Space Zoom camera is amazing and a bit creepy
The Galaxy S20 Ultra supports up to 100X zoom, which Samsung calls Space Zoom, but is it any good? Can a phone really product usable photos at 100x zoom? We've got our Galaxy S20 Ultra already so join us to find out!
Win an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with the Reader's Choice giveaway!
What's the best phone of 2019? Is it the iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4 or OnePlus 7T? What about the best laptop, games console, tablet and more? Vote NOW in the Reader's Choice awards and win BIG in time for the holidays!
Here are the best products from IFA 2019!
Here are the products announced at IFA 2019 that were worthy of our Best of IFA 2019 awards. Also featuring MrMobile's single best product at the show!
Break open a Loot Llama to find these gifts for Fortnite fans
Get your fortnite loving friends and family these awesome gifts. They will love you and emote for you. If you don't what that means, ask them and they'll show you.