Microsoft moves to calm fear over Xbox One advertising

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I know there is another thread about this, but this is about M$'s response.

Per the eurogamer article:


Microsoft has addressed concern over advertising on Xbox One.

Prospective Xbox One owners have worried about Microsoft's plan for user data since the console was announced back in May, but over the weekend a new article heightened the situation.

On 5th October trade publication Advertising Age published a report based on a speech from Yusuf Mehdi, corporate VP marketing and strategy for Microsoft, delivered at the Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

AdAge's report, titled, "Xbox One's Data Treasure Trove Could Reshape Marketing," suggests Microsoft could use the likes of Kinect and Xbox One's online functionality to help marketers create more effective advertising placed within the console's dashboard.

The article discusses the potential for Xbox One to make user data available for market research, something it says Mehdi "only hinted at" in his talk.

"We are trying to bridge some of the world between online and offline," Mehdi said.

"That's a little bit of a holy grail in terms of how you understand the consumer in that 360 degrees of their life. We have a pretty unique position at Microsoft because of what we do with digital, as well as more and more with television because of Xbox. It's early days, but we're starting to put that together in more of a unifying way, and hopefully at some point we can start to offer that to advertisers broadly."

One unnamed marketer told AdAge Microsoft could use Xbox One and Kinect to deliver "unprecedented information about how people engage with TV advertising".

When Xbox One was announced Microsoft planned for it to authenticate online once every 24 hours and require Kinect be plugged in to work. Following a backlash it ditched this plan.

But that hasn't stopped many from expressing concern at how Xbox One will handle their data, particularly in the context of the ongoing PRISM scandal and Microsoft's involvement with it.

In an interview with Eurogamer conducted at Microsoft's Redmond Xbox One reveal event in May, Europe chief Phil Harrison denied the company planned to use Kinect to snoop on gamers.

"Microsoft has very, very good policies around privacy," he said. "We're a leader in the world of privacy, I think you'll find. We take it very seriously. We aren't using Kinect to snoop on anybody at all. We listen for the word 'Xbox on' and then switch on the machine, but we don't transmit personal data in any way, shape or form that could be personally identifiable to you, unless you explicitly opt into that."

During his talk, Mehdi discussed how the new and improved Kinect can "distinguish up to six voices in a room, respond to voice commands, read skeletal movement, muscle force, whether people are looking at or away from the TV and even their heart rates", according to AdAge.

Eurogamer contacted Microsoft this morning about the AdAge report. The company declined to offer a spokesperson for an interview, but did point us to a post made this month by director of product planning Albert Penello on NeoGAF in response to a user question about Natural User Interface Advertisements (NuAds).

Penello's statement is reproduced below:

  • Well I think there's two things you're asking. NuAds by definition is simply interactive advertising done on the platform. Using the functions of the console and Kinect to interact vs. just watching a spot. There's nothing particularly interesting happening here unless you're in the advertising business, and we've done a few on Xbox 360 today.
  • What I think you're asking about is an interview done earlier in the year where someone was talking about how some of the new Xbox One Kinect features *could* be used in advertising - since we can see expressions, engagement, etc. and how that might be used to target advertising. This is the point that seems to draw some controversy.
  • First - nobody is working on that. We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I'm not aware of any active work in this space.
  • Second - if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn't happen without the user having control over it. Period.
  • Two examples of how we deal with similar things today:
  • First, Kinect can recognise your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like being able to be auto-recognised at a friend's. I get asked for that feature a lot. But, for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn't leave the console.
  • Second: You'll see us do some things around Skype that freezes the video when Skype is not in focus (meaning, it's not the primary app). If you go back to the home screen, or launch another app, we actually stop the video stream. We do this so the user can't even ACCIDENTALLY have the video stream going on in the background.
  • I'll say this - we take a lot of heat around stuff we've done and I can roll with it. Some of it is deserved. But preventing Kinect from being used inappropriately is something the team takes very seriously."


Source : http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-10-07-microsoft-moves-to-calm-fear-over-xbox-one-advertising

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Wesley Yin-Poole is a terrible article writer

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First sentence, read "M$", leaving thread. *sigh*

I don't think they can use the "it has potential to do this hypothetically... but we wont do it" excuse because really, it doesn't make a lick of sense

walsufnir said:
First sentence, read "M$", leaving thread. *sigh*

Sees walsufnir leave, can breath a little easier now that thread has been spared his ''i don't care about you, but i still have something to say attitude''

It just amazes me how Microsoft is struggling to unify their message to the gamers. They had some terrible policies in place and finally, with a lot of public pressure, they began to correct the mistakes they were about to make.

But then they announce things like this and you wonder if the management has the slightest idea what it is they're doing!


-Mr Khan

According to a new study; YouTube, Xbox.com, NeoGaf, N4G, VGChartz, IGN, GameSpot, GameStop, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, All of Europe, FAMITSU, Japan, the rest of Asia and The whole of the Middle East among countless others are experiencing a Tsunami of people in love with Sony's gamings offerings.

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walsufnir said:
First sentence, read "M$", leaving thread. *sigh*

So, what is the problem with M$?  It is a good shorthand for their name.  If Sony was a longer name, I would use a short hand for it.  I have use $ony, but they really aren't full of $$$ anymore.


I think that it is pretty obvious that I am not a M$ hater by any means.

i wonder why people don't have the same concerns with sony since they have patents to use the camera for advertisement. it's not as if they would have these patents if they wouldn't have people in the company working on those ideas.

1. you don't have to use kinect (yes i know you still have to pay for it if you buy an xb1) so it won't "see" you then to give you personalized advertisement

2. if you want to use kinect you probably like it. wouldn't those people also want to use the cam on ps4 and would have to fear the same there then? i don't see those people complaining about a possible camera usage for advertisement on ps4...

3. even if the xbox one and/or ps4 cams will be used for advertisement it will be optional for people who agree to it. as much as it is optional on 360 to let microsoft use your voice commands to increase the quality of kinect. i simply don't see how microsoft or sony would just use every cam for advertisement even if you wouldn't want to.

and as long as you could agree or disagree to it and would get something for it (cheaper downloads or whatever) there would be some people who would participate in it. some people just prefer less costs above annoying advertisement.

and about advertisement in gerneral, sure it is annoying but that's how this world works. you even have to see advertisement when you watch your 30 minutes mayweather vs. whoever fight which you paid 60 bucks for. 

The funny thing here is that he thinks having adverts on your console at all is okay.

It's not, it's really not.

Hmm, pie.

Anyone concerned with this has no business even opening a laptop, let alone typing www.google.com into it.

I'm not really here!

Link: Shipment History Since 1995

kowenicki said:
Anyone concerned with this has no business even opening a laptop, let alone typing www.google.com into it.

It's probably meaningless that ADblocker is so popular then? In fact so popular, Google disabled it on the playstore cuz they were afraid it would affect their ad revenue negatively. Same thing with recording TV, to skip those annoying commercials.

Fact is, people don't like ads. When you have no choise, you settle. But you don't go out and buy something that's gonna give you even more ads!

According to a new study; YouTube, Xbox.com, NeoGaf, N4G, VGChartz, IGN, GameSpot, GameStop, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, All of Europe, FAMITSU, Japan, the rest of Asia and The whole of the Middle East among countless others are experiencing a Tsunami of people in love with Sony's gamings offerings.