Privacy concern: Kinect camera always on but others can’t see you

October 25, 2010

Privacy concern: Xbox 360 Kinect camera always on but others can't see you Its a fact that the Kinect camera is always turned on and actively looking for you. Some people may have wondered if its possible for the always on camera to be secretly watching their every movement.

In an interview with Gamespot, Phil Spencer boss of Microsoft Game Studios alleviates privacy concerns regarding the Kinect camera. Kinect for the Xbox 360 is basically an advanced camera that tracks your movements.

This may raise some concerns for those paranoid that Microsoft or even some hacker could gain access via the Internet connection to spy on you in your living room. However, Spencer indicated that the camera is always on but it is in infrared mode.

GameSpot: Now some people are a little apprehensive about having a camera that can track them and recognize their faces in their living room. What do you say to those people?

Phil Spencer: Well, do you have the controls to not make it always connected to the Internet? Yes. Is the thing always looking at you? No. You’ll see when you use it that you actually stand up and wave to activate the camera. Then the camera will see you, and that has nothing to do with the RGB camera. That’s just the infrared picking us up. So it’s pretty specific when it’s looking into the room, if you want to call it that, and when it’s not.

It looks like you can disable the Kinect camera from communicating over the Web via some settings. Those imagining a switch over at Microsoft HQ that can be flicked on to monitor living rooms across America can rest easy knowing that there is no such thing.


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