Why Xbox One's Kinect Won't be Hal 2.0

Look, it’s OK to be a bit paranoid about technology. If you do something bad the police can indeed pull your entire internet history from the cloud and beat you with it, but sometimes you’ve just got to go with the flow and accept that things are going to be different in the future. Learning to live with Kinect, and all the other ways we’re being “watched,” is one of those times.

The world’s gone a bit mad in the wake of the surveillance scandals. Phone cameras are now accused of coming alive at night and sending Snapchat images of our sleeping faces to the government; any time GPS is mentioned the paranoid elements start hyperventilating through their teeth in fear of being tracked, plus everyone’s minding their language on the phone in case MP3s of the conversation end up on the internet as a list feature under the headline '15 Biggest Lies Gary Told His Dad on the Phone Last Month'.

The privacy issues surrounding Xbox One’s updated Kinect camera are a superb example of how the surveillance non-issue has been blown up into a big thing by those who ought to understand how technology works a little better. Yes, Kinect is a webcam in your house, and yes it listens to what you’re saying, but it’s more like an obedient dog waiting for you to say “Walkies!” or “Din-dins!” than a government-spying tool built to capture images of you vacantly staring at X Factor with a phone on one thigh and a tablet on the other. Who wants to see that, anyway?

It’s listening because, if you want, you can tell Kinect to do things for you. It’s listening because it can identify your friend from his voice and automatically sign him in to his Xbox Live account when he comes over for some rare real-world multiplayer action, so the beatings you’re about to administer to him become “canon” and are recorded under his profile for posterity.

It’s important to remember that listening is a different thing from recording and transmitting when being unreasonably paranoid about stuff on the internet. If you turn Kinect and the Xbox One off, the only thing it does is sit there, listening for one key phrase — “Xbox On.” Say that and it’ll switch everything on. Talk about your boring life and job and shopping requirements and, like most other people in the room, it won’t take any of it in.

Microsoft promises that “data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission,” so all the jokes about it scanning your household and reporting back to the US government are just that. Jokes. Bad ones. In fact, all of Kinect’s features can be individually turned on and off and, if you really mistrust all new things, it can be completely unplugged — the latter an option introduced by Microsoft in the wake of the “always-on” controversy that plagued Xbox One’s initial reveal.

Your privacy is more likely to be invaded by the postman looking through your window to see if you’re in to sign for a package than it is by a dumb bit of plastic. The governments of the world can do many things, but they can’t reach a finger into your lounge and turn something on if you’ve turned it off at the plug. That sort of feature won’t become live until Building Regulations 5.0 are passed in to law some time after 2017.

See No Evil

If you’re worried about Facebook selling your details to advertisers, you’ve almost certainly not got enough proper things in your life to worry about. So what if the ads around the side are based on words you may have typed and pages you’ve previously looked at? Isn’t there a small chance that might be interesting? Or are you more embarrassed about the “privacy implications” because it might reveal you’ve been talking to someone about whether baldness cures actually work, hence the Regaine(TM) animated banners all over your computer?

There are also laws in place. The EU’s endlessly banging on about data protection and requiring major corporations to tone down their ambitions when it comes to learning everything about us and using it for their own ends. In fact, Microsoft’s said it’s finding dealing with the privacy situation limiting in terms of what it can and can’t offer. For example, it could, technically, upload an image of your face to its server, then use that to recognise you at a friend’s house.

But because that would involve personal data leaving the security of your own console and being uploaded to a central server, that’s not allowed. Facial data stays on your own machine. Microsoft is being very careful in ensuring it doesn’t get caught up in any privacy invasion storms, because it’s been through enough storms of late and has run out of dry trousers to change into. So yes, be paranoid if you like. Disconnect cameras and put them in drawers when you’re walking around the house checking that everything’s locked and switched off for the fifth time before bed if you must. Whisper in the lounge so it can’t hear you. Wear a fake moustache and comb your hair differently every morning to stop Kinect recognising you. Talk with an Australian accent on Wednesdays. Take different routes to work or school or the jobcentre each day to keep the GPS systems confused and put THEM off the track when THEY come after you. Just remember that in avoiding the finely-tuned eyes and ears of today’s aware gadgetry, you’re also avoiding progress.

In some alternative universe, people are amazed that you can turn on a piece of hardware by talking to it, and that it can be controlled by waving your arms about, and can be made to control your TV, and can recognise your friends, and is even sensitive enough to measure your heart beat and pick out individual fingers on your hand. But here, we’re surrounded by people trying to find reasons why those might be bad things.

Our newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.


Comments

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=RDI42WTvafE#t=159

    Last edited 11/11/13 2:11 pm

    TL;DR

    It won't be able to emulate HAL because it barely has the processing power to run a 720 game upscaled to 1080p without chugging like a commodore 64. :P

      As opposed to the Playstation 4 which can't run a 1080p game without overheating and scratching the game disc?

        They should of called it xbox 720, cos thats as good as it gets as far a resolution goes.

        These consoles are meant to be NEXT GEN, not a small graphical update.

        basis in reality please.

          Console wars don't need facts and reality pffft

            But When Xbox one can't run Cod at 1080p native, it is kind of a concern, especially since Cod Ghosts is hardly an impressive visual experience. Activision have publicly announced this so the XBox has a source while as you stated are just mildly pissed off for the fact that it can't run 1080p native.

              And Ghosts has frame rate problems on PC and PS4. Meanwhile other games on the Xbone run at 1080p/60fps. So you can arrive at two conclusions.

              1. COD is SO hardware intensive that even the PC can't handle it.
              2. Infinity Ward can't get their shit together for next gen titles.

                I'm going to go with option 2. As the game is running on the exact same engine as COD4, there is no need for the requirement of 6gb memory. Are IW bloody high? They completely screwed up the port to PC. My now almost 2 year old computer, still has more processing power than either of the 2 new release consoles. The current issues with the PC port of COD Ghosts is an absolute joke and there really is no excuse for it. Time to turn some of those billions of dollars profit into a new gaming engine and pretend like they actually care about their customers.

                  Enough of your logic, it's "make crap up to defend our platform day"

              But When Xbox one can't run Cod at 1080p native, it is kind of a concern, especially since Cod Ghosts is hardly an impressive visual experience.

              Yeah but the PS3 had those same concerns earlier on and they never really added up to anything long term. Even if the difference was meaningful right now there aren't enough games for either console to say whether these are one off instances or an actual trend that will last the generation. It could be Microsoft, the XBOX One or Infinity Ward being slack ( and considering Ghosts reception...).
              With what I've heard about the XBOX One SDK I wouldn't be shocked to see a trend amongst early multiplatform games where they all have similar rushed aspects that resolves itself within the first year. It may be that the console simply can't but this early on how can you tell?

        I bought a Wii U and I am just chilling with my Monster Hunter and Pikman 3.

      Nahman, it'll tap into the Cloud. That thing's apparently powerful enough to make PCs cry and overcome all of the xbone's many limitations! The Cloud solves all.

      Also, HAL was a model 9000, if the X-Box is 2.0, then can't possibly emulate a system better than itself that probably doesn't exist yet.

      XBone ran awesomely at EB Expo? What games did you play personally that were chuggy?

        I think it was more of a reference that infinity ward couldn't get it to run at 1080p native.

    I like the Kinect idea. I like the idea that a device knows what I want without too much interaction, and might be able to pre-empt my needs based on who's home, what I'm saying and so on. In the perfect, or even moderately acceptable world this would be a great. But let's be real here, saying "Don't be paranoid" at this point is stupid

    This year we've found multiple things that support that what people are scared of could happen. We've found out that American companies have been forced, by secret laws and secret courts, to spy on people outside of America with no transparency. We've found out that the NSA has purposefully introduced backdoors into RSA encryption, the very foundation of privacy on the internet, secretly.

    We know that Microsoft has been working on letting the NSA tap into Skype calls, we know that the NSA had admitted to turning on recording capabilities of microphones in mobile phones remotely so that they can tap into them. We know that the NSA is capturing ALL data that is routed through the US, and stores the metadata if it's not deemed important after three days. We don't know this because it's founded on public laws or public court rulings, we found this out because of a leaker who the US Government quickly wanted to shut up with prejudice.

    Is the Government going to be interested in what I say? God no, I'm not a threat. Is it fair to say that the US could pass a law and force Microsoft to give the NSA the ability to turn on any Kinect they want and spy on people, without letting the public know any of this is going on? Yes. It's fair to say this because that's EXACTLY what they've been doing

    Next time you say "Don't be paranoid, this won't happen!", why not address the fact that it's almost exactly the same as what has happened, is currently happening and all with the public being kept as much in the dark as possible. It's easy to blow this all off as a conspiracy theory, it's harder when there's actual proof that the conspiracy theory is currently in action

      Personally, I don't feel as if it's a "that won't ever happen" as much as it is, I don't care if it happens. That much data, you only look for very specific activities, which none of us, should be, or would be conceivably engaged in.

      I'm not doing anything worth spying on. Because of that, I say Spy away. If some one thinks I am worth spying on, well that's very flattering, but they must be mighty bored.

      Google has enough info on me, why should I care if the Government does as well?

        I agree with you that none of us are going to actually be spied on, but that's not really what I'm cautious about. I'm cautious about the fact that I don't want the *US* Government spying on me. All the information that companies have on me is information I've *willingly* given up, which is fine, I chose to do that. But I'd rather not have a Government that's not my own, that I don't consent to collecting information on me, having the ability to peek into my life as they wish

        I'm not saying they will, they most certainly won't. What I'm saying is that it's really about control of your privacy. When I give my information out, I *choose* to do that. And I'll probably end up getting the Xbone at some point and I won't complain about it, but the main point my post is trying to make is that the article dismisses all of this as paranoid conspiracies, when the theories are grounded in fact and have valid concerns. It's not about whether or not they will spy on me, it's about the fact that I don't believe they should have the ability to do so without my knowledge. They're not my Government, they shouldn't have those rights

          I'd be more worried about what a company would do with your information more than the Government. The worst thing a Government can do with such data is better design policies to address social issues and need.

            True, but a company I actually have to consent to give them my information, apparently that's not the case with Government

              Well, perhaps not to the US Government. To the Australian Government, there exists quite strong regulation regarding individuals private information, who can access it, and who can use it and for what. A lot of the information also has to be willingly or provided with consent, acknowledging where it may be used for other purposes.
              Which isn't a bad thing, being able to use data can have HUGE benefits. You can do very strong, rigorous academic quality analysis and design some excellent and beneficial policies or changes to public systems with access to the right data. Without it, you end up with Government policy made up on anecdote or guesses, which quite frankly, rarely works.
              However, with all that said, the reality is, the second its a security organisation, those sorts of rules often go out the window. Whether that is a good or bad thing, well, for the average person, its a rather, non-issue if they collect data (against consent) because nothing happens with it. Unless you are a person of interest, or are doing something odd, which the system picks up, there's nothing to worry about.

              Where the information is used, or abused by some crazed person in Government, then perhaps we should worry. Where the Government oppresses its people, definitely worry. However, for us, in Australia, it's not something I would worry about.

      If you think that webcams are not being watched over by privacy intruders, think again. Unless prevented, every webcam session is traceable. A hacker can peek through your webcam lens using a remote access software known as RAT. By beefing up your webcam security, you can save a great many hassles caused by hackers.
      http://www.purevpn.com/blog/beefing-up-your-webcam-security-against-hackers/

        Which is precisely why I don't have a webcam. But thanks for the link, I'll make sure to go through those steps with my fiance's laptop

        Last edited 12/11/13 10:34 am

          that's not an issue with webcams at all, if someone has remote access to your PC they can do worse things than take a photo of your face. i would be more worried with people taking personal files or installing keyloggers to get my banking details. a webcam does not increase your chances to 'be hacked', which is what you're implying.

      At this point I can't take anything a politician or big text company may say about privacy with any confidence at all. They keep saying 'here is the line in the sand' then are proved to be blatantly lying. Microsoft saying that there is no way they will have access and that everything is kept locally means nothing because at the start of this year they would have said all the data on my laptops browsing history was private a claim that has since been proven to be completely false.

      I understand there actually is very little that I can do about it if I want to be a part of modern, online society but that doesn't mean I'm going to put an always on camera and microphone in my lounge room and invite them in that easily. Not to mention I have not seen one way it will enhance my gaming experience at all.

      what worries me the most, in the last year we have seen webcams on Smart TV's hacked and streamed over the net, given the constant security holes found in Windows, its a matter of when not if somebody gets access to that data.

      https://disconnect.me/
      It is a little thing, but it can't hurt.

    Great way to trivialise and write off as paranoia some legitimate concerns about privacy.

      Has any one asked "hey webcams on peoples PCs have been hacked, could this happen to the xbox?"

        Exactly. It happens all the time. There are communities on the net dedicated to hacking people's PCs without their knowledge. Ars Technica talk about it all the time.

    Well I'm glad Gary sees nothing to worry about with NSA PRISM - a "non-issue has been blown up into a big thing by those who ought to understand how technology works a little better".

    Also: " In fact, Microsoft’s said it’s finding dealing with the privacy situation limiting in terms of what it can and can’t offer. "

    No shit. Well let's allow the corporations to just go nuts with all our details so they can be happy! We owe it to them!

    This piece stinks, and you should be ashamed.

    Wow. I'm not a bad dude, I'm not a threat, but I am amazed to read an article saying how collecting data on individuals is a good thing.

    Sure. If you trust the company I guess 99% of the time it's not a problem. But companies employ people. Some people are good, some are neutral, and some are bad. And all the flavours in between.

    And those people working for these companies have access to a lot of information. Your information. Makes identity theft simpler. Can apply for loans. Can frame you for crimes. Can contact all of your contacts with embarassing information.

    Sure I'm paranoid. Whatever. The fact is that NONE of the above is possible, if you don't give out the information to begin with. I'm always surprised that people put their real details into facebook. Why would you want that information out there? How does it benefit you?

    I'm actually not that paranoid. I use credit cards. I shop online. But I choose which companies to use and what information I give them. I sure as hell aren't installing a camera next to my tv which can be hacked and gives anyone a real time view of what my family is doing.

      It's not even the companies that we have to trust. Let's say that the companies themselves are blameless and would never exploit the ability to monitor us 24/7 for a bit of profit (I know it's hard to imagine, but try), the question is: Do you trust the American Government not to pass secret laws to exploit that ability, while placing a gag order on corporations to stop them from telling us? Considering they're already doing as such?

      It's not the corporations that we have to worry about trusting, it's a Government who's already shown no regard for our privacy

        Damn straight man. But people are still writing articles like the above? It's like, he's just hoping if he believes it hard enough, it will be true.

        But if anyone has been reading the news lately, they can recognise how tempting it will be for people to hack these devices.

    They won't send our data without our explicit permission? I wonder how MS defines "permission." At the bottom of some T&C's? What if I don't give them permission? Will my Xbox brick and I have to return it?

    I want to put this into perspective. I am sitting at work right now (Hi Boss!) and I am at my PC in my regular work position. I sit here for many many more hours each day than I do in front of my TV. Without moving a muscle, I am sitting in front of 2 different cameras that are connected to the internet. Im not talking surveillence cams either. I have a laptop that has a webcam and on the other side I have a new Cisco phone that has a cam for video calls. Oh, my phone in front of me has two cameras and that is with me 24/7 and it also has GPS and internet..

    I'm not saying we should not be concerned about technology and privacy, but I don't understand why we are more concerned about this device than any other.

      Bingo

        Probably because neither of those is in the same league as the Kinect. The Kinect can see in the dark already listens through loud noises for commands and can tell who exactly is talking and saying what. The machine is for all intents and purposes a spying gold mine and to top that all off its connection to Xbox live and Microsoft allows it to be manipulated several magnitudes easier than routing to some random guys work webcam or to a phone of indeterminate capabilities that may or may not be working have camera or even be near the intended target.

        I personally care about my privacy, I make sure i have my entire Facebook locked down tighter than a teen girl with a super religious father. I don't have my employment , i don't let anyone but my select (less than 50, ) people see what I do post, remove tags and remove most personal information and what i post I know will ultimately be up forever.

        Even with all that I'm still getting an Xbox one, so while i agree in the sense that I have nothing to hide and as such don't care. It is still my right to privacy that has been repeatedly broken by Us governments, illegally collecting my data and putting gag orders on companies while forcing them into submission. I'm not okay with this, so in light of these many scandals involving serious privacy breaches around the globe I can say I'm a bit worried and can easily see why some people who feel more strongly than I do are a lot more worried.

        On a side note some of us don't have lives that are constantly watched by webcams and mobile phones. Don't live in towns littered with tons of cameras like in England or Chicago (most watched us city last i heard). So for those people this would be the first thing that can truly spy on them with such intensity, but seriously we live in Australia, as far as my limited knowledge on the subject goes our country doesn't have a need to spy on its citizens, so a device that so easily could is concerning to a lot of people.

        Last edited 11/11/13 4:52 pm

          Last week on JJJ that hack show, it was said all calls are listened to in Australia for key words and all can be accessed, but no one is interested in ordinary ppl.
          still a scary thought, I keep telling myself its to keep us safe from wackos out there.

          but I agree its good to know you can turn off the kinnect if you choose,

      Most definitely agree. People have been abusing webcams for years and how certain are people that their smartphone cameras, in particular, haven't given a backdoor to spy agencies? More importantly, the video content is going to be impossible to data-mine on ~5 bazillion kinects (idk) running 24/7, the only thing the spies would care about is the audio.

      And for non-spies, microsoft handles security for innumerable corporations so hacking/viruses/trojans would be hard to create (I wouldn't use a modded console, though).

      It has a lot to do with it being an entertainment device.

      What sort of things would you expect to do in front of your television in the privacy of your own home ,compared to your work computer in your office?

      Give this man a prize for actually using logic!
      Realistically the chances of any data of yours being collected are virtually nil anyway (unless you are a terrorist/criminal or are in communication with one) but if they were going to do it why the hell would they use something like an Xbox when your mobile/laptop/etc are far better at tracking you and getting more info from...

      The difference is that Kinect is a purpose built device designed to listen in on you/watch you while you relax. It's unsettling at the very least. It doesn't help that it has been rather loosely justified and is being released by a company that has a track record of just doing whatever it wants when it comes to consumer rights.
      Microsoft also has a well established stance of 'fuck you guy, you don't own anything we make' (where 'we make' could easily stretch to stuff they record with Kinect). Now in day to day use they'll treat you like you own it and it should all be fine, but if something goes wrong and the Kinect has some massive vulnerability you know it's going to be a case of 'well, they stole our data not yours, you own the plastic not the data it captures'. That's not likely but again it's unsettling.

      It's a lot like having a butler you didn't ask for who doesn't work directly for you. He does what you say and he's ok even though you don't really need a butler, but you know ultimately he only answers to Microsoft. He probably won't stab you and take your stuff, but if Microsoft (or someone who convinced him they're Microsoft) told him to burn your house down with you in it he would.

      I think it's paranoid to say Microsoft are intentionally trying to film me strutting around nude, but at the same time I think it's pretty naive, if not stupid, to consider Microsoft trustworthy enough to respect personal boundaries.

      1) You're at work. One would hope you don't surf some of the 'private sites' for your special 'private time' at work. The presumption at work is that you will be monitored in some way. Whereas at home, the presumption is exactly the opposite.
      2) I have a web cam too. And I don't have it plugged in when I'm not using it. Just because you're not concerned about it doesn't mean noone else is.

    Seriously, this is one of the most stupid articles I've read in a long long time. If you are not concerned about your privacy, or concerned about a camera in your living room that you don't have 100% control of then I'm sorry, but you are the fool.

      Mobile phones are always tapped yet no one seriously is foolish enough to worry about that.....sorry majority off us aren't important enough

    Phone cameras are now accused of coming alive at night and sending Snapchat images of our sleeping faces to the government; any time GPS is mentioned the paranoid elements start hyperventilating through their teeth in fear of being tracked, plus everyone’s minding their language on the phone in case MP3s of the conversation end up on the internet as a list feature under the headline ’15 Biggest Lies Gary Told His Dad on the Phone Last Month’.Fun fact: There has been a significant spate of instances of people having RSATs (Remote System Administration Tools) installed on their system by exes and con artists which allow other people to remotely turn the web cam on and off at will, then record that information for blackmail purposes. Rental laptops have also had this installed to "allow tracking of stolen items" but have been used to take footage of private moments. Fun Fact: Siri records your voice and caches that data for two years. It will also capture any background conversations. Fun Fact: Remember those bins in London that track your mobile device? No, that's because that project got shut down really fast for privacy concerns.

    While the article is correct in that there is a very small likelihood of the data escaping your XBox, it is also downplaying very real, and very legitimate privacy issues. Ones that can be avoided and mitigated if people weren't told so much that they are just the delusions of the paranoid.

    Last edited 11/11/13 3:20 pm

      My brother and I actually had Siri dial the same person on both our phones at the same time when we were talking about something completely unrelated but which she must have thought sounded like, 'Call Sarah'.

      Our phones were in our pockets and we were standing up. Impressive/creepy.

        When it's all said and done that's the part that bothers me. I'm not worried about the Kinect being HAL, HAL was a crazy dick but he was a smart crazy dick. You could say 'hey HAL, stop murdering people' and he'd know what you meant. I'm worried about the Kinect/XBOX One being dumb as a brick and twice as lazy. I'm worried about the XBOX One being too stupid to realise that even though it's hooked up to my Outlook account I don't want it sending Kinect pictures to everyone in my contacts. I'm worried, like I always am with social media, that I'm one poorly aimed click or poorly phrased sentence away from broadcasting something to people whose opinions actually matter to me.

        Last edited 11/11/13 8:35 pm

    I'll add myself to the "this article is bollocks" side of the fence.
    It's a slippery slope. All NSA facts and figures aside, I really don't like the principal that I don't know what info is being gathered about me and my habits. Taken out of context, "information" can be made to mean anything, and I don't like the fact that nothing is really private any more.
    Kinect 2.0 may not be an Orwellian telescreen, but the concept of an always on camera - even if it's absolutely benevolent and innocent - is pretty fucking close. How long could it possibly be before it becomes one? Before we casually accept that privacy isn't something you have a right to if you want to participate in the modern world?
    The Patriot Act post 9/11 took away many hard-earned and accepted liberties, with the right to privacy just one of them. How much further will they go to keep us "safe" from the dormant threat from the guy next door who writes death-metal lyrics, or the woman who acts out rape fantasies with her husband? What I or anyone else does in the privacy of their own home is noonne else's business, period.

      They will keep taking privacy as long as everyone sits down and lets them. Keep giving them entertainment. I'd wager over half the US doesn't know about the NSA or thinks Snowden is a traitor and should rot in a cell.

        I studied in boston and most of them don't even know were Australia is, mind you they love an Australian accent :D

        they take their terrorism seriously over there with white anti terrorist vans that check out cars at hotels with mirrors on poles, all roadworks have an officer present so no explosives are planted etc I was there in 2007 I can only imagine it got worse...... And every time I mentioned how ridiculous it seemed they got real defensive so I can only imagine that they would think the NSA is a good thing.....maybe it is?

    I'm selling tin foil hats on eBay if anyone wants one.

    Ah, the old contrarian article. Misses the point but attempts relevancy anyway, just like Kotaku itself.

    Shhh... MS are listening, they are after our data man, don't trust them. Its a conspiracy I tell you!

    Hal-9000 was on the Discovery, so wouldn't the Kinect 2.0 be Hal-10000?

      HAL-9000 is clearly old tech, as he/it was activated on January 12th, 1997. This actually fits in pretty well with a five year product cycle with XBox One being the followup console in November 2001.

      We should be safe as long as we don't give it access to the pod bay doors.

      In any case, Microsoft can clearly be trusted. Just look at their record. Nokia, WordPerfect, IBM, Netscape, SCO. Well, I suppose IBM hasn't gone bust as such, but they don't seem to be selling PCs any more.

    Yeah, we all know that nothing dodgy could ever happen. Ever!

    "LOVEINT: On his first day of work, NSA employee spied on ex-girlfriend
    New letter from NSA oversight to senator details 12 instances of obvious abuse."

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/09/loveint-on-his-first-day-of-work-nsa-employee-spied-on-ex-girlfriend/

    Oh.

      Yeah. And that's the ones they know about. It would be pretty damn naive to think there isn't a significant number of unreported incidents.

    I'm sad. I wanted a homicidal artificial intelligence who gets conflicting orders by two different authority figures, and tries to meet those orders in the middle by killing everyone.

    Damn. Oh well.

    Stay calm
    kinnect will keep us safe.

    now if we only give free xbox's to all terrorist clans out there

    I remember when me and my friend used to play with a 20Q. We would go a distance away and whisper our choice before starting.
    Come-on guys, clearly 20Q was the privacy issue of the century!

    Honestly it's a bit of a non-issue for me. Perhaps I'm a little ignorant, but if you're not doing anything wrong who cares? I have read some of the articles recently around what the NSA have been doing and that whole Google data tapping piece and that's some serious Tom Clancy stuff right there which is a little concerning so perhaps I'll preface my previous comment with "This PARTICULAR bit is a non-issue for me"

    This just reminds me of the whole "speed cameras just raise money" debate. Yes. They do raise money. Because you're breaking the speed limit. Don't break the limit, don't get a fine. Eh.

      "...if you're not doing anything wrong who cares?"

      It's not about whether you're doing anything wrong, it's whether you're doing anything you want to keep private. Can you honestly say you've never done anything in "view" of your gaming console that you wouldn't want others to see or hear? You might've had an impromptu quickie with your partner, or simply had a very personal conversation.

      Personally I'm not nearly as worried about Microsoft or the government as I am about hackers with nefarious intent. You can't brush that possibility off as being paranoid, it's been happening for years with far less capable devices. Do you trust Microsoft to be able to keep them out?

      The principle that if you do nothing wrong then you have nothing to fear works until you do something wrong that you didn't think was wrong.

      The legal system is such a morass that there is a good chance that you have broken the law in the last couple of days and are unaware of it (or possibly discounted it as minor).
      - Did you cross the street within 20m of traffic lights or a pedestrian crossing, but not at the crossing? Or did you cross pedestrian lights when the lights were red or flashing? Then you were jaywalking.
      - If you shared or quoted almost anything on the Internet you were probably breaking copyright law. If you did so on a public forum it was probably "on a commercial scale" and therefore a criminal offence.
      - If you touched another human being without that person's consent, you may be guilty of assault. (Just touching somebody is not sufficient in itself; you need "to effect the person's purpose". So jostling at the doors of a train car is probably prosecutable, for example.)

      Further down the track the law can define larger numbers of things as illegal; the ultimate extent of this is a totalitarian state. It's very unlikely that we'll go that far, but as the quote goes "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

    im all for what your saying. but its hard to believe corrupt media outlets....

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