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Microsoft: Trust Us, We Won't Use Kinect to Spy on You
We Also Promise Not to Give That Data to the NSA
by Karl Bode 07:12PM Wednesday Jul 17 2013
The Xbox One may suck quite a bit less now that the company has backed off restrictive DRM, but the console may still raise the bar for annoying snoopvertising. If you recall, Microsoft was one of several companies to patent the idea of using set-top device embedded cameras to watch people in living rooms, then use that data for targeted advertising purposes.

According to Microsoft, there's oodles of information collected by their new Xbox One Kinect they won't be using or sharing. With the recent revelations about Microsoft enthusiastically helping the NSA snoop on Americans, many are also raising the question of whether or not a camera in your living room will be part of data shared with the NSA. Microsoft is promising this won't be the case:
quote:
For its part, Microsoft insists that it wouldn’t help the government turn Kinect into an eavesdropping device. Quite the opposite, in fact. "Absent a new law, we don’t believe the government has the legal authority to compel us or any other company that makes products with cameras and microphones to start collecting voice and video data, and we’d aggressively challenge in court any attempts to try and force us to do so," the company told The Verge by email. Microsoft also confirmed that the new Kinect, like the original, has an activity light when it’s turned on.
Granted it's not really clear how much Microsoft's promises are worth. The government has also made it very clear there's no limit to the amount of invasive snooping they'd like to get away with, and law historically hasn't been much of a deterrent to stopping them (they simply change, distort or ignore it). This should all get very interesting over the next few years as similar camera functionality pops up in all manner of game console and set top box.

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dmelling

join:2009-02-26
New Paris, OH

2 recommendations

Really

Microsoft does not need to share anything. The information lands at the NSA before Microsoft gets it.

»www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/···%203.jpg
en103

join:2011-05-02

Re: Really

Exactly.

If its:
a) unencrypted data
b) NSA has the keys (Snowden confirmed this?)

Then MS doesn't have to 'give any information' - its taken as a Man-In-The-Middle approach or just poached directly.

mr sean
Professional Infidel
Premium,ExMod 2001-07
join:2001-04-03
N. Absentia
kudos:1

Re: Really

Even Alan Funt had some restraint....not sure if the same holds true for the NSA.
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable

trust

It's hard to have any trust that such a device would NOT be used for all manner of debauchery, whether that's at the hands of bored hackers / creepers (see this: »arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013···webcams/) or bored gov't hackers / creepers.

Let's face it, not many people are going to bother taking wireshark to their connection and seeing exactly what's being passed on the wire from this thing. Even then, if anyone's read anything about the way MS passed on info to the NSA, they'd know that encryption has zero bearing on their privacy of communication to/from MS (edit: see 1st post for example!).
In other words, even if all you see is "normal" traffic to MS and back, you'd have absolutely no way of knowing if a quick jpeg was captured in there, or if chunks of audio were being passed along.

Welcome to the telescreen machine.
How long before all TVs are required to include such tech?
houghe9

join:2008-02-27
Lexington Park, MD

Re: trust

said by amungus:

It's hard to have any trust that such a device would NOT be used for all manner of debauchery, whether that's at the hands of bored hackers / creepers (see this: »arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013···webcams/) or bored gov't hackers / creepers.

Let's face it, not many people are going to bother taking wireshark to their connection and seeing exactly what's being passed on the wire from this thing. Even then, if anyone's read anything about the way MS passed on info to the NSA, they'd know that encryption has zero bearing on their privacy of communication to/from MS (edit: see 1st post for example!).
In other words, even if all you see is "normal" traffic to MS and back, you'd have absolutely no way of knowing if a quick jpeg was captured in there, or if chunks of audio were being passed along.

Welcome to the telescreen machine.
How long before all TVs are required to include such tech?

i cant believe there is no way to disable this. lets see 1 device used by millions nah nobody will try to hack it. its a hackers wet dream.

aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA

Re: trust

said by houghe9:

said by amungus:

It's hard to have any trust that such a device would NOT be used for all manner of debauchery, whether that's at the hands of bored hackers / creepers (see this: »arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013···webcams/) or bored gov't hackers / creepers.

Let's face it, not many people are going to bother taking wireshark to their connection and seeing exactly what's being passed on the wire from this thing. Even then, if anyone's read anything about the way MS passed on info to the NSA, they'd know that encryption has zero bearing on their privacy of communication to/from MS (edit: see 1st post for example!).
In other words, even if all you see is "normal" traffic to MS and back, you'd have absolutely no way of knowing if a quick jpeg was captured in there, or if chunks of audio were being passed along.

Welcome to the telescreen machine.
How long before all TVs are required to include such tech?

i cant believe there is no way to disable this. lets see 1 device used by millions nah nobody will try to hack it. its a hackers wet dream.

There are over 25 million Kinect 1.0 devices out there. Did it get hacked? I have no idea.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Re: trust

said by aaronwt:

There are over 25 million Kinect 1.0 devices out there. Did it get hacked? I have no idea.

Is the Kinect 1.0 fully integrated into the system such that it can used as a webcam or make Skype calls?

Probitas

@teksavvy.com

If you can't trust it..

..don't buy it. On even the off chance they might have to use it to spy and simply be told tough, deal with it, we don't care if you lose customers, MS Xbox users may not become aware of it's use until Kinect pics show up in court. I could see that happening, if authorities find out from MS that some person of interest has such a set box, or that person is a known acquaintance of someone of interest, for sure they'd try to use it, with or without MS assistance.

It's getting pretty Orwellian in these parts.

nevertrustMS

@qwest.net

Re: If you can't trust it..

It really is(Orwellian state) -- Im starting to get the feeling I maybe wearing a tin foil hat someday, as I am really surprised how hell bent the "powers that be" are on making sure we are all living according to their "plan".

Essentially, as long as we all get the feeling that we are "free" and able to do as we want for the most part, and have the idea of an ability to succeed if you work hard(for the most part again), people will continue to sheep forward into this loss of privacy and rights. Not sure what will happen when those feelings and ideas change though.

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

Look...

If you don't buy the thing, the NSA will be forced to send one of their people over your house with a notebook and a digital camera to observe you and YOU will be responsible for their lodging, so if you don't want an uninvited house guest, sleeping on your couch and beating you to the bathroom every morning, just get one.
--
"when the people have suffered many abuses under the control of a totalitarian leader, they not only have the right but the duty to overthrow that government." - The U.S. Declaration of Independence

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Yea, right

quote:
Microsoft: Trust Us, We Won't Use Kinect to Spy on You
... and the check is in the mail and I won't come in your mouth.

OdinFaktor

join:2001-02-12
USA

Re: Yea, right

Congratulations, today, you win the internet.

Zing!

Hardie

@comcast.net

You know how....

...Microsoft was planning on an "always on" Xbox? Wonder why.

mikesco

@charter.com

NSA can now track you everywhere.

Seems to me that this was a huge controversy with On Star, the feds could listen in and even stop your vehicle. Now the possibility, even if they get a warrant, that they could look right into your living room. Pretty scary!

Hackthis

@comcast.net

Xbox one kinect

the solutions simple. build something to go over the device while its plugged in to disable or muffle its abilities to record video or audio.

So when your not using it for a specific game you can just disrupt its output.

They can record all they want if all they're that's going threw is garbage.

Maxo
Your tax dollars at work.
Premium,VIP
join:2002-11-04
Tallahassee, FL

Re: Xbox one kinect

said by Hackthis :

the solutions simple. build something to go over the device while its plugged in to disable or muffle its abilities to record video or audio.

The solution is more simple than that. Don't buy the new Xbox.

cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

Still not buying One

I don't trust Microsoft.
They keep back peddling on their stance.
They wanted this to be more a Media Center than game console, then had snarky remarks at the very consumers that would buy it "You don't want online all the time, buy the 360...".
Having a camera required to be part of the system is just an opportunity for exploit.

Will there be a Kinect Bodily Functions game? Pick your nose to continue...

Yes, I supposed a piece of black tape and posterboard would block people, but who can confirm there isn't a backdoor for someone to get into.

(I have a Kinect and it is unplugged until needed)
--
Splat

aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA

1 recommendation

Re: Still not buying One

said by cableties:

I don't trust Microsoft.
They keep back peddling on their stance.
They wanted this to be more a Media Center than game console, then had snarky remarks at the very consumers that would buy it "You don't want online all the time, buy the 360...".
Having a camera required to be part of the system is just an opportunity for exploit.

Will there be a Kinect Bodily Functions game? Pick your nose to continue...

Yes, I supposed a piece of black tape and posterboard would block people, but who can confirm there isn't a backdoor for someone to get into.

(I have a Kinect and it is unplugged until needed)

My two Kinect 1.0 units are always plugged in. I'm not worried about it. It's there when I need it. Just like my camera and mic on my cellphone, laptops, and tablets are not covered up either. They are there when I need them.

If anyone is worried about people spying on them with Kinect 2.0, then they better be covering up the cameras and microphones on all their other connected devices too. If they don't worry about those devices then they should not be worrying about Kinect 2.0.

mrherzog

join:2001-05-06
Calgary, AB

Re: Still not buying One

Not even the same the thing. The kinect system is required to be ON so it can listen to you on the off chance you say, XBOX on.
Camera's in phones are not. Phones are NOT purposely listening to you for on commands. (yet)
O1OOO1O

join:2005-12-23
Lewisville, TX

NSA :



tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

everybody is worrying about the Kinnect...

...but they trust the cams and microphones in their laptop, tablet cellphones etc. ?
It isn't just one device capable of watching and the NSA is not the only watcher.

mmay149q
Premium
join:2009-03-05
Dallas, TX
kudos:48

All this does

Is make me wonder how many NSA operatives that review footage see people having sex on their couch on a daily basis, in addition, how many of those are people no one wants to see naked? Lol
--
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein

En Enfer
This account has been compromised

join:2003-07-25
Montreal, QC
kudos:4

Yeah right...

quote:
Microsoft also confirmed that the new Kinect, like the original, has an activity light when it’s turned on.
Using my DJ software trying to record my live performance, wrong input selected, I figured out quickly the microphone on my webcam is always turned on but the light remains off.

Why should we trust M$ on their words based on a "light" status? Just unplug the Kinect when you don't need it, but their new X-Box just won't work without it, or an internet connection...
--
Tell your children over dinner, "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."

Somedude

@50.103.185.x

Like that matters.

Even if it's 100% true they won't give it to the NSA (it's never 100% true), there's still the distinct possibility that they'll give it to other authorities in the name of copyright infringement busting as a "second DRM."