Microsoft launched a public relations campaign in April promoting its users’ privacy as a high priority. In June, however, that claim was put to the test when former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed the secret Internet surveillance program PRISM, in which Microsoft was named a participant.
A patent for the new Xbox published on Nov. 1 suggested that the attached motion-sensing device, Kinect, would be able to sense the number of users in a room and determine whether any copyright agreements were being violated.
Snowden’s revelations suggesting a possible Microsoft-NSA partnership, a partnership Microsoft has denied, stoked fears that the new device could be hijacked by the federal government to spy on its users.
A Microsoft spokesperson told The Daily Caller, however, that its users are in control of the device’s privacy settings and their personal data collected by the device.
Particularly, with regard to the Kinect, the spokesperson said, “You are in control of when Kinect is on or off.”
“If you don’t want the Kinect sensor on while playing games or enjoying your entertainment, you can turn it off,” said the spokesperson.
“You can also unplug the sensor and the console will continue to function, though you won’t be able to play a title that relies on Kinect or control the console with voice or gestures,” said the spokesperson.