Well that didn't take long. A lot of gamers were worried about Microsoft peeping in on their game time with Hal 2000 – oops, I mean Kinect 2.0. Well, some of those worries gained veracity when temporary bans and 24-hour account suspensions started popping up for people swearing in videos made in the Upload Studio and during Skpe calls.
Furious Fanboys and Polygon have detailed accounts of multiple users from the Xbox forums, Reddit, Neogaf, GameFaq and Twitter who claimed they were banned for using profanity in Skype and in the Upload Studio app. Those claims were soon verified by Microsoft, when Polygon contacted the company and received the following response regarding the bans...
"To be clear, the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement team does not monitor direct peer-to-peer communications like Skype chats and calls," ... "Also, we take Code of Conduct moderation via Upload Studio very seriously. We want a clean, safe and fun environment for all users. Excessive profanity as well as other Code of Conduct violations will be enforced upon and result in suspension of some or all privileges on Xbox Live. We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members."
So there you have it.
Microsoft had previously mentioned that they would be tightening up the security of the Xbox Live ecosystem as well as implementing new rules and regulations for the Xbox Live reputation management. These measures were put in place to curb some of the more disreputable antics carried out by Xbox gamers.
Some people may take it lightly, but this is the new and secure Xbox, and Microsoft won't take you lightly... at all.
With issues of living room cameras playing a big part in the new generation of game consoles, there are bound to be a deeper set of monitoring and policing from the system and app operators, just like what happened with the one streamer who accidentally left his camera on and it recorded him and his girlfriend having sex, as reported by GameBreaker.tv.
Twitch has also been banning many individuals using the PS4's Play Room, as reported by CVG. However, Sony has yet to get pulled into the debacle of widespread reports of bans due to user monitoring. In result, a lot of gamers have questioned – if Microsoft claims they aren't monitoring direct peer-to-peer connections – how some of the bans are occurring?
Some users think that Microsoft is over-extending their hand in the bans, especially with the profanity over Skype calls. Microsoft, however, has continued to claim that they do not monitor peer-to-peer calls and individual user activity, which was a big worry when the Kinect 2.0 and its DRM monitoring policies were originally announced.
It's not hard to see why people consider the Xbox One the NSA spybox; and with bans being handed out over profanity, it really does call into question just how much your activity is being monitored, whether it be with automatic filters or by an actual security team. This sort of news really doesn't help dispel the impression that there's a lot of privacy invasion going on with the Xbox One.