Microsoft's Albert Penello Discusses Using Kinect To Advertise On Xbox One

By William Usher 1 year ago discussion comments
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Biometric feedback data is stored on your console. Your face data is stored on your console. Your voice data is stored on your console. Your console can automatically turn on when it sees you sitting down and recognizes your face. Your console can prompt for recommended products based on your data. Basically, your console can control your living room entertainment, but it's not evil... so says Albert Penello.

Microsoft's director of product planning, Albert Penello, was on damage control in a Neogaf thread where it was bound to end up spilling out into the public and making flame wars rage with enough heat to melt the plastic boobs on your bitter ex-wife.

Dualshockers collected key quotes from the discussion like a paparazzi snapping “uppies” at an awards show, rolling out key quotes surrounding the security and feedback data stored on the Xbox One, courtesy of Hal 9000's little cousin, Kinect 2.0.

Previously we wrote about the Xbox One's dashboard being optimized for ads, following on the controversial news about the Kinect always listening and always watching. According to Penello's damage control thread 2.0, the Kinect has not and is not being centered around the optimization of ads and ad-based functionality through the dashboard, writing...
“NuAds by definition is simply interactive advertising done on the platform. Using the functions of the console and Kinect to interact vs. just watching a spot. There’s nothing particularly interesting happening here unless you’re in the advertising business, and we’ve done a few on Xbox 360 today.

“What I think you’re asking about is an interview done earlier in the year where someone was talking about how some of the new Xbox One Kinect features *could* be used in advertising – since we can see expressions, engagement, etc. and how that might be used to target advertising. This is the point that seems to draw some controversy.

First – nobody is working on that. We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I’m not aware of any active work in this space.

Second – if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn’t happen without the user having control over it. Period.

His “First” point is kind of silly because it's the equivalent of someone outside of the Chief of Staff meetings on Obama's cabinet saying “Heh, well I don't think we're torturing anybody because I'm not aware of any active work in that space.”

Not being aware of something is not the same as something not actually happening. The two can be mutually exclusive.

In addition to this, Penello drops a monster combo when it comes to defensive counter-PR control, further defending the All-Seeing Eye, also known as the Microsoft and NSA's privacy-raping lovechild, saying...
“Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like being able to be auto-recognized at a friend’s. I get asked for that feature a lot. But, for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn’t leave the console.

I’ll say this – we take a lot of heat around stuff we’ve done and I can roll with it. Some of it is deserved. But preventing Kinect from being used inappropriately is something the team takes very seriously.

The team takes this stuff so seriously that they actually forgot to include any of it in Microsoft's public service announcement regarding consumer privacy rights and their products. No biggie, no one cares about their privacy anyway... I mean, it wasn't like Prism was some huge thing that got people all paranoid and angry about other people spying on their unmentionables.

Anyway, while Kinect 2.0 will be a hacker's wet-dream device come true where they can potentially tap into your system if it's left on and watch you fap on your couch or snooze when you're supposed to be watching the kids, Penello states that the previous mentioned scenario won't be easily achievable thanks to many of the features required to make spying possible must be turned on by the user...
“All those “biometric” features you saw demoed aren’t always turned on. They are features we make available.

“biometric” data is pretty open-ended. For instance, we collect voice samples today if you opt-in (just like every phone does as well) to help improve the accuracy of the voice models. This, I suppose, could be considered “biometric” data going to the cloud.”

Well there you go. You won't have to worry about being spied on by some fat, sleazy hacker with more hair on his butt crack than what's on top of your head, and more sweat running down his armpits than all the combined perspiration from the Minnesota Vikings after trying to dodge Ndamukong Suh and his knee-busting antics. Of course, you can always turn on those features and let the fat, sleazy hacker's eyeballs ravage your privacy like a wolf in a sheep pen, if you so desire.

According to Penello, though, gamers need not worry about their privacy making it out onto the interwebs, as the only thing Microsoft collects from you are your voice samples...
As far as I know, the only data we collect is Voice, via opt-in. If I’m incorrect on that, then I’ll update when I know differently. Otherwise, I believe that the page I linked you would have the most detailed information.

This should make those who see black copters with their tinfoil antennas rest a little easier at night. However, I don't think anyone will truly feel safe so long as that red eye is staring at you and your family and you can feel the digital optics undressing your privacy like the data pervert that it is.
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