Published on June 10th, 2013 | by Ian Garstang0
Why the Xbox One monitoring is nothing to worry about
Monitor away Microsoft
With rumors flying around about the Xbox One being able to monitor our gaming and watch our behavior (and possibly more), there has been a surge of anti-Xbox posts, rants and images. Why is everyone so paranoid? So what if Microsoft collects data on you? The government does, Google does, Facebook does your phone provider does, your web browser does, your subscriptions do and now even your running shoes do. We live in a world of digital information which is growing exponentially and most of us are not spies, activists, terrorists or fugitives. Much of the populous eat, sleep, work, play (video games), watch TV, have a hobby, go on vacation and generally have a standard run-of-the-mill life.
Imagine this scenario (slightly boosted from the book ‘The New Digital Age‘)
You wake up in the morning, not by your alarm clock, but naturally, as your curtains open automatically and your back is gently massaged by your bed. The television that you watch is tailored to you. You drink the coffee that has been chosen for you whilst reading your own personal newspaper before embarking on the most efficient route to work.
Your bed has monitored your sleep pattern and detected when you are outside of a REM (rapid eye movement) cycle and uses this opportunity to wake you up gently and naturally. It signaled the curtains to open (based on your settings) and you jump into the shower. The TV shows the morning news whilst offering you other suggestions such as American Sitcoms (which you sometime watch in the morning) and an array of cartoons (which you watch when woken by the children). By the time you reach the kitchen a cup of coffee is waiting for you and the smart kitchen’s screens tell you that you are low on the coffee you like and gives you three outlets which currently have special offers on that particular brand. The screen also offers suggestions on other coffee based on what you friends and family are currently drinking and talking about. You add your regular brand to your virtual shopping basket and open your tablet which has aggregated all the types of news, articles, features into a customized newspaper. As you gesture your way through the news, drinking your coffee you are shown a message from your car. The message tells you that based on current weather, traffic and season you will need to leave for work in 15 minutes. As you talk to your family and eat your breakfast, a nip in your shoe tells you to leave now. Finally your driverless car takes you to work as you go through your to-do list ready for a productive day.
All of this needs your data
For your home, office and devices to truly work with you they will need comprehensive data on you and your behavior. Many share their antics on social networks without a second thought, and yet if your games console wants your details it’s all of a sudden an invasion of privacy. We live in a world of glass houses where our entire lives are documented, recorded and archived. The age old of everyone getting ’15 minutes of fame’ will be flipped on its head and people might be lucky to get 15 minutes of privacy instead!
Whats One more device
The apps on your console, your tablet, your phone and your TV already monitor your behavior so whats is one more device. Especially if that device is trying to bring them all together to work seamlessly.