Microsoft: We may monitor communications "to the extent permitted by law" in New Privacy Statement

In an updated privacy statement available to view here Microsoft has detailed how the Xbox One’s Kinect will use any data it collects during play. Xbox One owners are advised details about your appearance gleaned from Kinect’s facial recognition technology will be totally private, but are also reminded not to expect any level of privacy while chatting over the service.

In terms of voice chat, however, the privacy statement advises users they “should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features such as voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions offered through the Services.” Microsoft says it may monitor communications “to the extent permitted by law, but we cannot monitor the entire Service and make no attempt to do so.” The company reminds users that other players could record and use your communications on Xbox Live and your “[c]ommunications in live-hosted gameplay sessions may also be broadcast to others.”

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xHeavYx1387d ago

I'd be careful of the " we reserve the right to make any changes in the future" part companies always hide in small print

MajorJackHoff1387d ago (Edited 1387d ago )

What's the need for them to "monitor communications"? For one thing, the law is completely messed up already, and a violation of our rights. See the Patriot Act.

I'm tired of companies doing crap like this. Sony, Microsoft, Flap Jack's House of Pancakes, idgaf. I don't want a company monitoring anything I do unless I give them permission to do so.

Kingthrash3601387d ago

lol flapjacks house of you sir made me

NewMonday1387d ago (Edited 1387d ago )

it appears they don't need permission and you can't opt out of this, take it or leave it.

Sayai jin1387d ago

@MajorJackHoff - I agree it's crap. Unfortunately it will become more and more intrusive. I am pretty sure there is no call, internet transaction, etc that is not being monitored. The only thing is people think it's just MS, but we know it almost every company in respect.

PoSTedUP1387d ago

it states that they can take anything you do, say or upload and give it to any of their partnered partys including Resellers without notice and "without compensation to you whatsoever".

that, is what i call, bull****.

Finch1387d ago

Sounds to me it's on the lines of. If someone reports you about nasty talk in a room they can join and see if it's true. Just like they do in online chat rooms.

zeal0us1387d ago

What rights? The Constitution is nothing than a old piece of paper with meaningless words in this day and age. The government violate your rights and so do business. The government tries to justify doing so by using the Patriot Act(as you stated) or "protecting the nation."

Businesses can get away with it just as easy. They state it in their privacy policy or Terms of Use agreement and soon as you hit agree, say goodbye to your private information.

LonChaneyTV1387d ago

"Microsoft: We may monitor communications "to the extent permitted by law" in New Privacy Statement"

All communication services in the US are monitored by providers.

Anyways, I thought Microsoft cleared their extent in person?

Cueil1387d ago

they're monitoring for key words... don't worry... unless you're planing to kill a VIP of some sort

LonChaneyTV1387d ago (Edited 1387d ago )

I wouldn't be too worried about this but i would say first hand, facebook is the government's fist place to check if they wanted to get to know you a little better.

cleft51387d ago

This is why I want nothing to do with the Xbox One. It's sad to see so many dismiss these serious privacy issues like they are nothing because they want to behave like a fanboy to a company.

Kryptix1387d ago

I know all they look for is keywords, (there's going to be that one person abusing it like the airport scans) but honestly, what ever happened to the statement that they value privacy?

What happened when they said that data collection is something that you have to opt in in the first place?

Those Snowden documents combined with the news about the Kinect collecting data match up. Only the close minded are the blind, the ones that easily or most likely fall into a river of scams and lies.

badz1491387d ago Show
amiga-man1387d ago (Edited 1387d ago )

There is no may about it they will monitor communications and anything else they think they can get away with,

this is M$ we are talking about here.

'edit' sorry badz just repeated your sentiments didn't read that far before commenting apologies bud.

Sarick1387d ago

"I don't want a company monitoring anything I do unless I give them permission to do so."

They own the servers privately. They made the agreements to subjugate you to their rules under them. When you sign up you must agree to them or you can't use their services.

Frankly this is why I'm so upset about things like this. Companies with alot of power and influence choose to do this all the time. They exploit the weakness of the consumer by dangling a virtual lollypop in fount of screaming children. They them "if you want this candy you need to agree to my terms."

Most people just give in, Few say,
"I'm not going to accept it!" Only when the corporate greed sees wide scale loss because unified customers choose not to be baited do they look for compromise.

The Microsoft policies are fine examples of this. Just recently I was reading that Sony wasn't including DNLA or MP3's in PS4. These features that where on PS3 may or may not have been excluded for the purpose of promoting their internal subscription services. Either way it agitates me that they went backwards on features.

I know this isn't the place to talk about PlayStation but when I look at next gen I take into consideration all aspects. I also actually look at the policies and privacy terms.

My motto is. A good business should make money by promoting prosperity to both the customers and the themselves. They shouldn't force policies unless the end would result in failure.

I really don't know how I'd handle this if I was in charge. One things for sure I wouldn't want to upset people anymore then this generation has already.

jackanderson19851387d ago

abuse, racism, sexism etc etc

marchinggamer1387d ago

Then gtfo out of the US nobody wants you here anyway. The patriot act at the time was made to help stop terrorism. The patriot act came into play long before metadata and data mining were a thing. To many people have absolutely no idea that almost every tos allows selling of metadata.

1387d ago
Magicite1387d ago

stay offline an you are fine

kneon1387d ago

This is normal practice for any communications provider and is allowed under the law in most jurisdictions.

They may monitor communications in order to check for voice quality issues. But typically they can't go after specific customers, it would be something like they are getting reports of issues from customers in some region or ISP so they may randomly listen in on some calls in the affected areas to check what's going on.

UnHoly_One1387d ago

"I don't want a company monitoring anything I do unless I give them permission to do so."

You give them permission when you agree to the terms of service.

Unfortunately, your options are either:

A) Agree and let them do whatever they want


B) Don't use the service at all.

Sucks, but that's the way it is.

Anon19741387d ago

If people don't like it, don't use their service. Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo...they all have ever right to control what goes on in their networks. You walk into a business and start shouting about government conspiracies, you may have freedom of speech but they have the right to kick your ass out on the street for doing so. Online networks are no different.

If you violate the online rules, prepare to be booted. Microsoft could rightly ban the word "boobie" from being spoken on their network and had every right to kick you off if you violate that policy. It's their network. Using it is a privilege not a right, as many who've been banned from these networks can attest to.

SilentNegotiator1387d ago (Edited 1387d ago )


Oh, okay, that's fine. At least no one has ever been misidentified and then harassed for an extended period of time that way. wait....

This policy is complete garbage.

Ch1d0r11387d ago

We should have a "No Spying Agreement" like Canada does with the US.

JeffGUNZ1387d ago

Relax. They will monitor things that matter. You know, say a few people were online playing a game and seriously chatting about doing something like the boston bombings or some sore of devastating act. Nobody gives a crap if you tell your friend you're "smoking a bowl". Everything we do is monitored, but it's done in completely different ways then you think. It's not like they have millions of people sitting in rooms listening to your party chat lol. I bet PS4 will have this, but Sony is smart enough to never address anything in that regards. Any social media or even forums like these get monitored in some way or another. To be ok with it here, in writing, but not ok with it online, chatting, is just hypocrisy at its finest.

esemce1387d ago

By signing Xbox Live's terms and conditions you are effectivly giving them the permission, sad but true read the small print.

UnholyLight1387d ago (Edited 1387d ago )


Too much paraphrasing in the article and it seems like they purposely skipped this part:

I read the agreement (yeah can You believe it? I really did cus I knew this would be a story on N4G) and directly following the part where it says about no level of privacy in the voice chat and video communications etc is because the console and or Microsoft collect these voice samples to improve the communications part of Xbox Live such as audio codec or how well the kinect picks up voice commands.

It also stresses in this section that Microsoft will treat these samples as confidential and the samples are not being monitored based on what is said in them unless there is a complaint of harassment for example (and I'm just going out on a whim here but this makes sense since this would breach the agreement of communication with people on Xbox Live) or hate speech directed at someone over Xbox Live.

It's basically the same process as when you call a support line and they tell you that they may record the call for Quality control purposes.

Please get your facts straight everyone.

RyuCloudStrife1387d ago

I would not get near a Kinect not even if its unplugged!

JunioRS1011386d ago

I completely agree.

And the most dangerous part of these situations is not necessarily how much they monitor you NOW, but how BEING monitored is creeping its way into being the NORM.

Little by little, inch by inch, day by day... They WILL herd us into cages if we let them.

pixelsword1386d ago (Edited 1386d ago )

I think the Xbone will be a great console, but this agreement seems just like Dracula: they can't come into your house unless you give them permission.

The thing about Dracula and this intrusion is that on the surface they both seem harmless to the point of being docile, but once inside they'll try their hardest to suck you dry and make you their slave; so a simple invitation into your house turns into verbal agreement to sell your soul.

Your unholy task entails you and your actions being the actual data they mine, among other things.

It reminds me of this:

First of all, what is the "limits" allowed?

Secondly, why take it that far? Why not just to it to the extent that can serve the user in terms of playing video games? That will give comfort to gamers, not some vague technocratic statment.

Hey, Too bad I didn't see this on Halloween, lol

ambientFLIER1386d ago

cleft5 + 14h ago

"This is why I want nothing to do with the Xbox One. It's sad to see so many dismiss these serious privacy issues like they are nothing because they want to behave like a fanboy to a company.

Yes, and the Sony Terms of Service don't say the same thing at all. What's that??? They do? Wow, I guess you won't play on PSN either then...

dedicatedtogamers1386d ago

Prior to the 360 launching, Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, said that their old foundation was developers, developers, developers but NOW it is advertisers, advertisers, advertisers. And it was no surprise whatsoever when the 360 became one big TV commercial. Microsoft makes hundreds of millions annually selling your information to advertisement. The XBox One was built from the ground up to be a new advertising platform (Microsoft themselves said this).

But hey, Microsoft, Titanfall.

Perjoss1386d ago

It's not too late to cancel your Xbox One console preorders.

cyclindk1386d ago

Gaear Grimsrud: Where is pancakes house?

Carl Showalter: What?

Gaear Grimsrud: We stop at pancakes house.

Carl Showalter: What... are you nuts? We had pancakes for breakfast. Gotta go to a place I can get a shot and a beer, steak, maybe, not more fuckin' pancakes, c'mon.

[Gaear just stares at Carl]

Carl Showalter: Oh, come on, man! Okay, here's an idea: we can stop outside of Brainerd. I know a place there we can get laid. Whaddya think?

Gaear Grimsrud: I'm fucking hungry now, you know!

Carl Showalter: Yeah yeah Jesus, I'm sayin' we can... stop, get pancakes and then we'll get laid, alright?