Microsoft's Albert Penello Hopes They Never Use Xbox One's Kinect For Advertising

By William Usher 1 year ago discussion comments
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The big worry around Kinect 2.0 extends to several different facets of discussion. We have some debating about the privacy invasion regarding Kinect 2.0 and its face, voice and biometric readings, as well as those worried that stored data could be sold to marketers for ad optimization. Well, Microsoft's Albert Penello isn't really for that stuff and hopes Microsoft never goes full Dark Side with Kinect.

Dual Shockers has become the regular TMZ of video game news, peeping at big figures from behind trash cans in seedy alleys and spying on conversations from under grated sewer holes, but they find the juicy bits nonetheless so who are we to complain? Anyway, they caught wind of comments from Microsoft's director of product planning, Albert Penello, who took to Neogaf to run damage control for the mini 'M' after an article from Advertising Age riled up the community over Kinect's potential use as an information leech for marketing agencies.

Penello stated that...
I said any reference to using Kinect biometrics for advertising was purely speculative, and weíre not doing any development work to implement it. There was an article with a misleading title and a confusing reference to Yusuf saying something different.

The author of that article clarified in his own comments section that Yusuf was also saying using Kinect biometrics was speculative, and we werenít working on it, and confirmed that what I said and what Yusuf said did not contradict The PR team issued a clarifying statement to that effect.

Penello reiterates what he mentioned before about not having knowledge of Microsoft using Kinect for any nefarious marketing purposes, despite the fact that the entire system Ė especially the revamped Xbox One dashboard Ė has been optimized for ads.

Bridging the gap between an ad-optimized dashboard and a biometric reading camera with an active microphone doesn't leave a lot of room for interpretation from a consumer standpoint.

A company with an entertainment console that focuses on television (which is basically a cesspool for product advertisements these days) certainly puts potential consumers on high alert because a device that could help a company manage and sell more ads using a biometric camera and an ad-optimized dashboard seems like the next logical step for any mega-conglomerate. Heck, that's exactly how YouTube works these days with their corporate partner program and ad-optimized videos as noted on Mashable. The only saving grace for YouTube is ad blocker.

Anyway, Penello goes on to reaffirm and reassure potential customers that the Xbox One's Kinect 2.0 is safe and that their personal data will not be used the way Google, YouTube, Facebook and just about every single other social media service out there that has your personal information uses your data: to market ads to you.
Iím going to summarize one more time our stance on this, since people think I dodge the question. Itís what Iíve said before, itís what the PR team just reiterated, and it turns out itís what Yusuf said last week.

We are not working on anything using biometric data from Kinect or anywhere else to target advertising.

No personal information leaves the Xbox One Console The only biometric data we collect, are voice samples to improve our recognition engine. We only do that when a consumer opts in. There is a very clear checkbox in the Settings menu.

IF anything like this ever gets implemented, we will be clear to consumers and give them the ability to control it. We have historically posed this information online, not buried in a complicated EULA, and I see no reason to think that will change.

Penello finishes his damage control rant with a jab at his own company and the product that has caused so many consumers to finally stand up for their own rights and shun off Microsoft and their attempts to further control how corporate marketing and obese-commercialization has overtaken our everyday lives, saying...
People at MS have talked about [personal data for ad optimization] enough, that I can see why people would be questioning it,

Me personally, and Iíll get in trouble for saying thisÖ I donít like it at all. I wish we never talked about it, and I hope we never do it. Someone posted a link to something similar being said around the original Kinect, and we never did anything. Iím hopeful the same holds true here.

Don't be surprised if Albert Penello get's Mattrickcized soon and ends up at Zynga, alongside his former Sith Master.
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