A lot of people have been worried about Microsoft’s decision to make the Kinect an always on device. However, Xbox supporters are saying that this is just baseless paranoia and that Microsoft would have no reason to spy on us. Unfortunately, news has just come forth that says Microsoft has been spying on us.
So much for baseless paranoia.
Specifically, Microsoft has been working with the NSA and the Prism program. Recently, Microsoft came forward to provide details on what sort of info that have provided the government. Microsoft has made it clear that they have not provided access to e-mails or instant messages whatsoever. They also haven’t provided encryption keys. All information requested has been given to the government unencrypted.
Microsoft also assured us that they did not give the government direct access to user content or activity either. All data has to go through Microsoft first. When a request is received, Microsoft’s compliance team reviews it for validity. Supposedly, Microsoft can reject invalid requests, though the company has not confirmed that it has done so in the past.
It appears as if Microsoft is trying hard to protect our privacy in this situation, but it still doesn’t make us feel any better about an always on Kinect.