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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xHeavYx2026d 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

MajorJackHoff2026d ago (Edited 2026d 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.

Kingthrash3602026d ago

lol flapjacks house of you sir made me

NewMonday2026d ago (Edited 2026d ago )

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

Sayai jin2026d 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.

PoSTedUP2026d 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****.

Finch2026d 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.

zeal0us2026d 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.

LonChaneyTV2026d 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?

Cueil2026d ago

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

LonChaneyTV2026d ago (Edited 2026d 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.

cleft52026d 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.

Kryptix2026d 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.

badz1492026d ago Show
amiga-man2026d ago (Edited 2026d 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.

Sarick2026d 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.

jackanderson19852026d ago

abuse, racism, sexism etc etc

marchinggamer2026d 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.

2026d ago
Magicite2026d ago

stay offline an you are fine

kneon2026d 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_One2026d 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.

Anon19742026d 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.

SilentNegotiator2026d ago (Edited 2026d 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.

Ch1d0r12025d ago

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

JeffGUNZ2025d 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.

esemce2025d ago

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

UnholyLight2025d ago (Edited 2025d 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.

RyuCloudStrife2025d ago

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

JunioRS1012025d 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.

pixelsword2025d ago (Edited 2025d 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

ambientFLIER2025d 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...

dedicatedtogamers2025d 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.

Perjoss2025d ago

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

cyclindk2025d 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?

elmaton982025d ago (Edited 2025d ago )

All I know that if they want to see me fapping in front of kinect you're welcome to do so, you NSA freaks.

mewhy322025d ago

Wow. U mean that microsoft may be monitoring communications ?..... but .... well.

DragonKnight2025d ago

So, Xbox fanboys, are you finally going to admit that Microsoft doesn't care about your privacy or rights and is just using you for ads and to drain your bank account, or are you just going to site X company that uses cookies or some other stupid and irrelevant example to justify what Microsoft is doing?

How many times do you have to be told that Microsoft is monitoring everything you say and do not only for sale purposes, but to give to the government (likely for money as well) and doesn't give a rats behind about your rights? Now with Kinect 2, they can monitor your vital signs. Getting closer and closer to Demolition Man don't you think?

+ Show (34) more repliesLast reply 2025d ago
Kingthrash3602026d ago

i'm beginning to think the kinect is being forced for ad revenue. the tv thing too, i know the x1 exclusive shows like the halo and ryse will be flooded with ads making ms a ton.
im not gunna hate on the idea but its just the fact that you pay for xbl gold and ads should be removed...they should show ads on xbl silver thats understandable but no, they want to have their cake and eat it with a golden fork.

TRD4L1fe2026d ago

Do you understand just how delicious a cake is with a golden fork!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

2026d ago
ShwankyShpanky2026d ago

@trolling: ...sooo... cookies and usage info. That is the same as a biometric spycam/microphone. Yes, yes it is.

SilentNegotiator2026d ago

Prepare for ads based on things you've said, your weight, etc.

Ch1d0r12025d ago

I hope people start trolling kinect, for example focus the camera straight into an picture anime, a hot bikini babe, maybe even cool looking lambo in the hope that you get an ad related to the subject :-)

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2025d ago
NewMonday2026d ago

monitor communications "to the extent permitted by law"

so we don't have a choice in this

Mikelarry2026d ago

you never had a choice to begin with, you were only led to believe that you did.

kingdip902026d ago

You can make the choice to dissagree with ms terms and conditions... but then of course your system won't do much

Drewidian2026d ago

It may also mean that MS doesn't have a choice in this either. Remember that every communication system has to have a means of monitoring by law. Telephone services, Instant messaging, mail, email, etc have to comply with any warrant that is issued to provide access to the Justice Department otherwise anyone could use it for nefarious purposes. BTW Sony, Google, Apple, and any other tech company who has a home grown communication system has to do the same so this really isn't a big deal.

marchinggamer2026d ago

Almost every tos in the US has this stuff if you don't want it then gtfo out of this country. Nobody wants to hear people like you complain about how the NSA doesn't give a shit what your doing.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2026d ago
Funantic12026d ago

Other players can record your conversation and broadcast it.

2026d ago
MynextGen2026d ago ShowReplies(4)
GNRL_KID2026d ago (Edited 2026d ago )

They will monitor and sale your data. Look at this link. It starts small, then it will expand!

showtimefolks2026d ago

i just don't trust any big company when they say we reserve the right to make any changes in the future and in MS's case that means in few years we will have a xbox one with MS's original full of restrictions vision

coming of the huge success of xbox360 in the biggest market USA, why did they feel like they had to make so many changes? wasn't the brand a huge success and now Playstation 4 has a clear advantage over xbox one even by them doing advertisement partnership with NFL and giving Fifa for free in Europe

most of xbox one's best features are behind a paid wall

Lord Anubis2026d ago

sounds like you guys (that venture into buying the xbone) will have to unplug it or cover the camera to prevent any unauthorized broadcasting..

BallsEye2026d ago (Edited 2026d ago )

Every single company does that. Even your beloved sony. If you'd have your own company and wound't add this line in the terms and agreements, you would fail miserably. Laws change everyday and so does the market. And tinfoils stop trolling MS gonna spy on you through the camera. You think you're so special they got nothing else to do than watch fat butts eat chips and play video games? All of you got Facebook where you give out your personal info and photos, all of you got mobile phones that are monitored 24/7, conversations recorded etc. All of you use internet and every single thing you do got it's record as well. You're just looking for anything to troll about.

Oh yea, and kinect forced and no use? You gonna change your mind when you see head tracking in BF4 with kinect

PSX042025d ago

what Microsoft want from us, our money and our private life ???

BuLLDoG9092025d ago

"to the extent permitted by law"

So when you agree to their terms of service, its all legal.

Condemnedman2025d ago

Yeh or they could just keep quiet for a week while they have had been hacked :-!

JsonHenry2025d ago

Even if they (MS) didn't spy on us through the game system/kinect the NSA, FBI, CIA, ATF, DoD, and just about any other agency you can think of is going to spy on you anyway.

Seriously. Not sure why we are not holding pitch forks storming the castle right now over this crap. I guess at the end of the day the world (not just the USA) doesn't care about individual liberties or the right to privacy anymore. :*(

Consoldtobots2025d ago

you play with the house's funny money you gotta play by their rules. only those who know the way to the yellow brick road find true freedom........

Bobby Kotex2025d ago

Microsoft has done enough to annoy gamers who pay attention, but somehow I know this Xbone is going to be pretty successful. The Xbone can cause fatal electric shocks and millions of people will still buy it.

supes_242025d ago

I wanted the X1 this gen more than a PS4 but after all the strict policies I said no to MS. They did some 180s because of all the backlash from the public to draw people back in. I have no doubt that MS will implement all their restrictions later during the consoles life cycle. To hell with them and that crap, too intrusive. All X1 owners should expect an ass load of advertising on their console and more of those BS house calls from telemarketers, more junk mail. All from this collected data just to sell to those companies for a profit and piss off their customers.

ZombieKiller2025d ago


I've said it in my past comments. How much do you want to bet that they will do another "policy change" AFTER people buy their console?

...I just can't bring myself to do it. Monitor communications?! So what happens when you have a Kinect in your room, with a directional mic (which they stated in previous interviews) and a hacker or a "corrupt MS employee" (they don't have THOSE riiiight?!) decides they wanna see whats going on in my living room?

I'm sorry but no thanks. Sony has better games anyway.

Retroman2025d ago (Edited 2025d ago )

And MS said they was not part of NSA and NSA part of Illuminati buying X1 would break our privacy rights.

No thanks MS

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Enemy2026d ago

What happened to "we are not monitoring you"?

Sayai jin2026d ago

No company should ever say that. Every company that uses an online feature is monitoring in some way; MS and even Sony are no different in this regard. To what degree is questionable. If you use any type of device that uses internet, cell comm, etc you bet your bottom dollar you are being tracked.

Mikelarry2026d ago

come on now after the prism scandal anyone who believed that is well..... naive

Relientk772026d ago

It turned back to "We are monitoring you"

sAVAge_bEaST2025d ago

Everything is now under "control" --__.

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Sayai jin2026d ago (Edited 2026d ago )

MS needs to make sure they make this as transparent as possible and answer and prove what they say. I think the monitoring statement is a reflection of the new rep system and smart match. The 2nd part: This sounds to me that they are warning people that other people can record what they say or do and post it on any site. The last portion was also listed on the TOU for the first Kinect.

Edited: Just re-read the Privacy Statement. I do not see anything new in this statement that was not stated in the last. I could be wrong.

"Except as described in this privacy statement, we won’t disclose your personal information to a third party without your consent."