A Microsoft employee rattled off the following quote, causing some concern among many people. Of course it would. You can’t really take this out of context. This is what happens when you send a manager to do a PR job. Trying to butter the investors, a bit, as well.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Dennis Durkin, who is the company’s COO and Financial Officer for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment business, told investors that the new Kinect controller presents business opportunities for targeted advertising campaigns. “We can cater which content we present to you based on who you are,” Durkin said. “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.”
The comments immediately raised privacy concerns and questions whether Microsoft’s Kinect was watching users and reporting back. Microsoft’s PR team rushed to hurry out an official statement and clarify that the console doesn’t include this capability at the moment:
“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.”