Kinect could use visual data to target advertising, doesn't currently

How would you feel if, thanks to your Kinect camera, advertisers could discover specific physical characteristics about you, whether you play alone or with friends, and how often you play games? Microsoft has said that your personal privacy is safe, but it may plan to inform advertisers about Kinect players in the future, according to MS Interactive Entertainment Business COO/CFO Dennis Durkin.


“We can cater which content we present to you based on who you are,” said Durkin at an investor conference, according to the Wall Street Journal. “How many people are in the room when an ad is shown? How many people are in the room when a game is being played? When you add this sort of device to a living room, there’s a bunch of business opportunities that come with that.”

It's unusual for any company to tout a new peripheral as advertiser-friendly, especially just after it's been released, and when user privacy is in question. So maybe it's not... Microsoft responded to the WSJ story with an e-mail clarifying its position, saying:

"Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE do not use any information captured by Kinect for advertising targeting purposes. Microsoft has a strong track record of implementing some of the best privacy protection measures in the industry. We place great importance on the privacy of our customers’ information and the safety of their experiences."

Well that's good, but what's this Durkin fellow on about, then?

[Source: Wall Street Journal]

Nov 12, 2010

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