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Microsoft "concerned" by claims GCHQ considered using Kinect for surveillance

Microsoft has said it is "concerned" about fresh reports that UK spies considered using Kinect for surveillance

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Illionaire2184d ago (Edited 2184d ago )

Funny Microsoft seems more concerned than Xbox fans about this. Apparently this is fine, cause everyone uses your cellphone to spy anyway. In all reality, it ALL causes me to be nauseated.

It's all just damage control, the worst kind. It's never OK for a corporation to spy on you, no matter you much you like their products.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

zeronhero2184d ago

not sure why you are saying damage control, the GCHQ thought about surveillancing the kinect WITHOUT the consent of Microsoft, just like they did with yahoo.

Illionaire2184d ago (Edited 2184d ago )

Microsoft was spying on Skype users
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

and there name was dropped in Prism.
http://www.heavy.com/news/2...

Microsoft Windows crash reporting system
http://www.geekwire.com/201...

More spying information
http://www.freemansperspect...

How many times can a company be involved in spying scandals before people realise they're not corcerned by it, but motivated by it.

zeronhero2184d ago

@LLLionaire

not sure why you are saying Micosoft, when you dont actually bother to read your own sources, it said NSA, not MS.

DragonKnight2184d ago

zeronhero: Microsoft were among the first to join the NSA in PRISM voluntarily. They also tried to sell the Kinect's abilities to advertisers, essentially creating a system in which 3rd parties could monitor the average gamer and send tailored ads to them. They also built in backdoors to Windows for the NSA to use and gain unfettered access to anyone's computer. I find it difficult to believe that any type of monitoring involving their devices and software goes on without their knowledge and consent considering that they have spied on users themselves and have been so co-operative in helping out agencies like the NSA to do the same.

Illionaire2184d ago

Microsoft's Xbox One policy says they spy on you.
http://www.polygon.com/2013...

Charybdis2184d ago (Edited 2184d ago )

Microsoft and other companies like google are fighting against NSA, though I do not think they can win a fight against the NSA. My advise for potential terrorist do not buy a xb1. Jokes aside I think we should be more worried about the security of the online services, protecting personal kinect and billing data is more important. Sure hackers and NSA will be looking into ways to get acces to kinect-, laptop- cameras-, phone- data etc.

- http://www.huffingtonpost.c...
- http://www.pcworld.com/arti...

SilentNegotiator2184d ago (Edited 2184d ago )

MS was the FIRST company to Hop on Pop when PRISM started, so don't be fooled when they act all sympathetic.

Unlike Yahoo, MS's fight back against the NSA has been largely superficial.

Volkama2184d ago

@DragonKnight

Data on your interests and purchasing patterns is a valuable commodity, and selling that data is big business. You agree to it every time you accept Sony's terms as well.

I can understand concerns about a camera transmitting images of you. But Microsoft's ideas that you reference were in collecting data based on where your eyes look and possibly your facial expressions. That's not any more evil or sinister than collecting data based on what you click, it's just a damn sight more clever.

DragonKnight2184d ago

@Charybdis: Microsoft is only fighting for transparency, not fighting to prevent it. Basically, they want you to be able to know exactly what is being taken from your camera feeds, but not to stop taking it.

@Volkama: 1. Just because it's big, valuable business doesn't make it acceptable.

2. I've never had an add from Sony in the entire lifespan of Playstation and in Sony's agreements you can opt out of data collection entirely.

"I can understand concerns about a camera transmitting images of you. But Microsoft's ideas that you reference were in collecting data based on where your eyes look and possibly your facial expressions. That's not any more evil or sinister than collecting data based on what you click, it's just a damn sight more clever."

You're condoning a third party watching you through Microsoft's camera. If you really think it's limited to the eyes only, your naivety rivals that of a child. A click of the mouse is something you choose, a camera watching you without your knowledge definitely is not. There is also no indication that that's the ONLY thing the camera is doing, especially considering Microsoft's Past in spying on their customers/service users.

Volkama2184d ago (Edited 2184d ago )

I'm well aware that it's completely pointless to engage you in discussion, but hey I've got another bubble to spare :|

I get adverts all over my PS3 all the time. Movies and games of interest and such. If there is an option to opt out of that data collection I haven't seen it, but then I haven't looked because I don't oppose ads being targetted rather than blanketed.

As for spying, I wasn't referring to the data that various spy agencies reportedly intercept. I don't believe Microsoft are a willing party in that at all, it's massively damaging to them.

I am referring to Microsoft's proposed plans to track your eyes and expressions and collect data, not transmit any imagery at all. You know this to be what I am referring to, because it was quite clear in what I wrote. Your personal attack is unwarranted.

Clicking an item of interest is voluntary, but so is watching something. Most of us control our own eyes.

When you decide to buy a game or watch an advert do you click thinking "hmm yes I think I fancy sending this data to advertisers", or is that something that just happens in the background? When you "clickout" of N4G are you considering who does what with the data? It's really not so different, specially in terms of ethics of it (or lack there of).

I'm sure you'll come up with some well-written but entirely empty response, and I don't really care. I find you transparent and your agenda quite tedious.

DragonKnight2183d ago (Edited 2183d ago )

For starters, I never personally attacked you. Unless of course your sensibilities are so delicate that being called naive is personally insulting and offensive to you, in which case I will continue the "personal attack" by telling you to grow up.

Next I'll tell you that if you DON'T look for options to opt out of your data being collected, then you are complicit in all spying attempts large or small. You show an acceptance to violations of privacy and aren't deserving of any rights to privacy if you don't care to protect it for yourself.

"As for spying, I wasn't referring to the data that various spy agencies reportedly intercept. I don't believe Microsoft are a willing party in that at all, it's massively damaging to them."

Except they are a willing party. It's already been proven that Microsoft were the first to join PRISM, and that they built in back doors in Windows for the NSA. They willingly joined PRISM and they willingly built in those back doors. The government would have no way of forcing Microsoft to compromise their own product in that way. Everything we know about Microsoft's involvements in any spy related area shows their own willingness to co-operate, and in the case of Skype to engage in it themselves.

"I am referring to Microsoft's proposed plans to track your eyes and expressions and collect data, not transmit any imagery at all. You know this to be what I am referring to, because it was quite clear in what I wrote. Your personal attack is unwarranted."

I know what you're referring to, and I stand by the claim of your naivety. The fact you honestly believe the Kinect will only focus on your eyes just proves you to be naive. MS even sold facial expressions (meaning a focus on more than your eyes) and heart rate as a potential means to gauge interest in commodities that can be advertised. Hell, someone was able to access the camera feed of the Kinect that is sent out to Microsoft and saw that it didn't focus only on your eyes.

"Clicking an item of interest is voluntary, but so is watching something. Most of us control our own eyes."

This is a laughable reply. By your logic, when you're on a computer and a pop up add somehow appears on your screen, it's your choice because you looked at it. Oh of course, we're supposed to close our eyes and use the console now. Yes, that's how we protect our eyes from being spied on. You're exactly the type of person these kinds of corporations and agencies love because you tacitly accept their increased incursions and invasions of your privacy. To be accepting of marketing your facial expressions is just sad.

"When you decide to buy a game or watch an advert do you click thinking "hmm yes I think I fancy sending this data to advertisers", or is that something that just happens in the background? When you "clickout" of N4G are you considering who does what with the data? It's really not so different, specially in terms of ethics of it (or lack there of)."

It's COMPLETELY different. In none of those cases is there any personally identifiable information available. It's simply raw, mechanical data. The system doesn't know that it's me clicking on it, or if it's my sister, or someone visiting me and using my devices. Involve a camera, and suddenly it becomes exceptionally personal and has the potential to collect more than simple numbers and raw information. Plus, you can't argue a positive that this collection happens in the background. There is no positive for it unless you are an advertiser.

That you sit here and condone a camera being used to monitor you as a person is disturbing and unfortunate.

BX812183d ago

This would be an excellent Segway for ms to unbundle the kinect if they wanted to do it early. Everyone likes not being spied on. Just a thought.

Godmars2902183d ago

@DragonKnight:
To be "fair", MS weren't planning on selling the ability for 3rd parties to watch XB1 owners, but rather the information or data MS itself gathered. How long someone looked at a commercial. Their reactions to scenes from TV shows and movies. Specific information.

That the actual information gathered would be a lot more or that Kinect seems to be a better at monitoring than being a motion controller is besides the point.

And that last bit was sarcasm.

DragonKnight2183d ago

@BX81: It would be an interesting situation. On the one hand, MS could prove (at least a little anyway) they have customer privacy interests in mind, as well as potentially boost their PR image and sales by unbundling Kinect for this very reason. On the other, people would likely take it as an admission of guilt and hammer them for that too. Personally, if Microsoft took that step I'd consider it more of the former than the latter because I will always give credit to any company that takes any steps, no matter how small, to stick it to any government.

@Godmars290: That's a fair point to make, though I'd argue that it's merely semantics. Whether the 3rd parties had direct access to the camera feeds themselves, or MS sold them that data, the point remains that it's still being used for spying purposes. And who's to say MS wouldn't sell more sensitive information to the government?

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 2183d ago
Concertoine2184d ago (Edited 2184d ago )

Youve been on n4g on less than a day and all you've done is bash MS and the Xbox One. C'mon man, there's just much better things you can be doing. MS expressed concerns at a 3rd party abusing their hardware to invade customer's privacy, rightfully so.

jmc88882183d ago

AFTER Snowden's reveal.

What did they say beforehand?

...and why is it that Microsoft built in backdoors to their Windows OS starting with Windows 95 OSR2.

Last I checked the Saudi Arabian attack known as 9/11, financed by crown prince Bandar Bin Sultan and his wife happened in 2001. (aka Bandar Bush, aka the guy arming al-qeada in Syria/Libya, also involved in Iran-Contra)

So why did Microsoft build in back doors for the gov't into their OS, half a decade or so before 9/11.

You can't use 9/11 as an excuse if it happens before 9/11.

yarbie10002184d ago

Funny because its obvious you haven't been keeping up with any of this in the news. It's not Microsoft that has to be reined in, but the Govt Spooks who are bypassing these companies and doing it without permission.

joeorc2184d ago

@yarbie1000

"Funny because its obvious you haven't been keeping up with any of this in the news. It's not Microsoft that has to be reined in, but the Govt Spooks who are bypassing these companies and doing it without permission"

while what you say is completely true, like Sony's root kit, Microsoft has had the NSA KEY back door into all of windows OS since before windows 95' Back door's by the very blunt truth is "root access" thus it is by default a (rootkit)

So it is what it is.

jmc88882183d ago

No, it's BOTH.

Fascism is the marriage of big gov't and big business.

BOTH ARE AT FAULT.

Volkama2184d ago

Please never link anything from the Daily Mail again.

Thanks.

Mr Pumblechook2184d ago

Microsoft are concerned? Yeah, they're concerned that the consumers have found out.

American companies cooperate with the NSA because in return they can be rewarded with favourable trading decisions. But IF this is true, and remember Edward Snowden's info up until now has all been regarded as classified but true, then this is a betrayal of consumer trust.

And Microsoft are the company with the 'Scroogled' ad campaign against Google just because they use targeted ads.

darkjalil152183d ago

so you like people watching you from a camera while you play your xbox.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2183d ago
SteamPowered2184d ago

Im quite concerned too. If they ARE tracking me, I would be anxious to see the tally of total joints rolled while gaming. Im sure the number will be quite staggering.

Doritos_Pope2184d ago (Edited 2184d ago )

My son, MS, you need to visit a confessional! They have obviously been in discussion with you about it! How can you drink of my blessed Dew when you try and conceal the truth?
So sayeth the Doritos Pope!
@Dragonknight, you should join my Order of Knights for you speak the truth!
Proclaim it ! in the name of the Doradito!

kalbo142184d ago

atleast they are putting it to good use..

cfc832184d ago

Men have fought wars throughout the test of time to defend freedom. Idiots who buy the kinect pay money to have their freedom infringed.

yarbie10002184d ago

And I guess if you buy a Phone or Laptop or have Email or connected to the internet then you are paying to have your freedoms infringed. THEY ARE SPYING ON ALL OF THOSE. So your logic is what is a little idiotic.

jmc88882183d ago (Edited 2183d ago )

That's a false equivalency.

Each additional spy device is bad. You act as if it doesn't matter since there are phones, email, and laptops.

1. Why do you even bring up email? Email is supposed to be private, but you see illegally our rights are gone. So if I opened someone else's mail I'd be in jail. If a papparazzi unlocks someones phone or gets access to their email, they can be arrested. So why are you saying it's ok, when if any of us did it we'd be in jail?

2. Kinect isn't necessary. You can't email, without emailing. You can't use a phone without a phone.

Please show me where you can't game without a Kinect? (besides what MS wanted to needlessly do).

Kinect is unnecessary to play games and is just an addon no one wants.

Plus Kinect isn't in your pocket, Kinect is perfectly situated and aimed right at your living room. Able to track whoever and whatever is in it, with night vision, and even counts your heartrate.

All of the spying is bad.

DonkeyWalrus2183d ago

@jmc8888

Kinect is necessary for motion and voice controls. Not everyone wants/needs that but clearly there are people who do. Besides, one could easily argue that phones are unnecessary as well. Do you really need a smart phone to call people? No.
And the fact that your phone is always with you makes it even worse than a stationary camera. With a cell phone, the NSA can see exactly where you are any time of day, they know exactly who you are talking to and what you are talking about, they can see everything you search for on the internet... Smart phones are the NSA's best friend.

I don't understand the point of your argument about illegality. Spying through the Kinect is illegal as well. The government doesn't care though. They'll continue to get away with whatever they want as long as people aren't doing anything about it.

People need to stop wasting their time blaming corporations when the NSA and other spy agencies are the real source of the problem.

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