This whole DRM is blessing in disguise for Microsoft. Come on people real issue is Kinect always on and system will not work without it. They will have remove that or realease another SKU if they have any chance of success with XBOX ONE.
The only people who still worry about Kinect always on are conspiracy theorists or completely missed MS explaining all the customizing and disabling options... it does not pose a threat to anyone's privacy any more than a webcam on a laptop does.
They require it connected because it is an input type that is fully integrated with the console. Do you complain about not being able to disable a controller as an input device? No, because that would be silly :)