Many consumers and gamers are concerned that the Xbox One's Kinect requirement would give Microsoft an avenue to snoop on anything and everyone within the peripheral's field of view. Congressman Michael Capuano (D-MA) and Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) are trying to put the kibosh on such privacy intrusions by introducing a bill called the We Are Watching You Act.
The We Are Watching You Act would require such tech to ask the consumer to opt in. They would also display an on-screen warning whenever the device was recording any data about the consumers that it's keeping track of.
“These DVRs would essentially observe consumers as they watch television as a way to super-target ads. It is an incredible invasion of privacy. Given what we have recently learned about the access that the government has to the phone numbers we call, the emails we send and the websites we visit, it is important for consumers to decide for themselves whether they want this technology. Think about what you do in the privacy of your own home and then think about how you would feel sharing that information with your cable company, their advertisers and your government,” said Capuano.
“Allowing this type of technology to be installed in the homes of individuals without their consent would be an egregious invasion of privacy,” said Congressman Jones. “When the government has an unfortunate history of secretly collecting private citizens’ information from technology providers, we must ensure that safeguards are in place to protect Americans’ rights.”
Last December, Verizon filed a patent for a DVR that would track the activities of the people within the DVR's field of view. Between Verizon's and Microsoft's attempts to watch your every move, it's good to know that there are people in the federal government that are not only wise to such attempts of corporate intrusion into private citizens' rights, but that they're trying to do something about it. We expect the We Are Watching You Act to gain plenty of support in both the House and Senate. We'll be watching this story as it develops and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
What do you think of the We Are Watching You Act? Do you support this legislation? Why or why not? What do you think of the Xbox One and Kinect? Sound off in the comments below.
I cover video games, tech, privacy issues and more for IBT. Prior to joining the staff, I wrote for Major League Baseball, Computer Shopper and other publications. I earned...
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