Confusion reigns

Last week, the Wall Street Journal interviewed Xbox's chief operating officer Dennis Durkin about the potential for Kinect to deliver personalised advertising into the home, with Durkin reported as saying:

We can cater which content we present to you based on who you are. 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.

Whilst the sensor's Minority Report-style controls have grabbed headlines, that film also used facial features to deliver targeted marketing, and there were concerns that Kinect's facial recognition and Xbox Live services could combine to tailor advertising content to users. Now Microsoft has released a statement to reassure users that this is not the case:

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.

The original quote from Durkin was discussing the potential for Kinect to offer such features, rather than their current implementation, but such was the furore surrounding the idea that it now looks unlikely for Microsoft to introduce them in the future.