The Xbox One’s Kinect can be turned off and so can the console, Microsoft told Kotaku.
The privacy concerns flooded the discussion following the reveal of Microsoft’s new console. The new Kinect will sign players in via a facial scan. It can also detect muscles and heart rates. And it can do all of that in the dark.
“It is not always watching or always listening,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Kotaku.
“We are designing the new Kinect with simple, easy methods to customize privacy settings, provide clear notifications and meaningful privacy choices for how data will be used, stored and shared.”
“We know our customers want and expect strong privacy protections to be built into our products, devices and services, and for companies to be responsible stewards of their data. Microsoft has more than ten years of experience making privacy a top priority. Kinect for Xbox 360 was designed and built with strong privacy protections in place and the new Kinect will continue this commitment. We’ll share more details later.”
The Xbox One itself can be turned off too. It’s an odd question to ask, whether or not an electronic device can be turned off, but the way Microsoft sold it as an all-in-one entertainment box — made to be always-on — it was unclear if it would even have a power switch.