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Privacy concerns mount regarding Xbox One

The Xbox One may be constantly recording sound and audio in your living room even when turned off. Along with gathering hoards of data about our leisure time will this new generation of consoles go too far?

A trip down memory lane

Remember the days that gaming involved simply popping a dusty cartridge into a grey box in front of the television and simply pressing one button to run and the other to jump and avoid oncoming bad guys with your pixelated sprite?

Me neither.

However allegedly gaming was once that simple! For the younger generation who grew up with the PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2 even and the Xbox 360 – they have grown up with a shiner disc, a prettier sprite and the ability to choose any of 100 guns to pop a bullet into those oncoming baddies butts – and all in 3d!

Video game console used to be for video games.

Notwithstanding the change in scenery the consoles purpose remained the same. To empower us and make us experience a virtual reality full of story-telling, imagination and all while allowing us to remain in control of our speeding cars and superhuman heroes. The console was simply there to boot up and play whatever game or experience you felt like enjoying on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The reason for these nostalgic thoughts is because times are changing folks – and in my opinion not for the better.

Mounting privacy concerns regarding the upcoming Xbox One

It has been widely reported that the Xbox One – Microsoft latest flagship model will not only be always online (even when turned off) but the mic and recording features that the Kinect provides will also be on all the time the console is plugged in. This is because of the ability for the console to simply turn on when you tell it to more than anything. However what else is the console “listening” and recording while it remains under you television? At the moment details are sketchy to say the least but it is a worry for those concerned about their privacy.

Gone it seems are the days of a simple grey box under the television that once it start spinning your discs you will be transporting yourself into a world of smashing boxes and collecting apples. This console is transporting itself into OUR world.

So have things gone TOO far?

It measures your heartbeat. It may be able to recognise facial expressions. It records video and sound and is constantly listening for commands. It play your games but also knows what television show you’re watching, what websites you browsing on it ,what movies you enjoy, what friends you talk to and how long you spend on each. This console will probably know more about you and your leisure life than you do!

So how do you feel about the latest developments and features in the next generation of consoles that seem to compromise our privacy. Are the benefits like better social integration and technological features and upgrades worth it? Or is having a big brother type machine in your living room slightly worrying you too?

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Published: Sunday, June 2nd, 2013 Last Modified: June 6, 2013

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