Microsoft has admitted to having hired third-party contractors to listen to gamers playing their Xbox One gaming console. They also made it clear that the intention behind this intrusion was just to make sure gamers don’t violate their terms and conditions.
Earlier, people at Microsoft had suspected a few Xbox One gamers of using unethical methods. This is more of a preventive measure and not an attempt to retrieve personal information from the users.
“Neither the company is planning to improve its existing products using the audio clips from the gamers,” said a fellow spokesman from Microsoft. Besides, the team at Microsoft only listens to the recording on suspicion if someone violating their terms, and not otherwise.
How does this affect a regular gamer who just wants to enjoy the experience of playing on Xbox One?
The recent debate on privacy issues between Senator of Texas, Ted Cruz and senior employees at Google has made every gamer and non-gamer aware of the possibility that big tech can record their personal information.
Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple all do it. So, there is nothing new that Microsoft has joined the race to trespass the personal space of a regular citizen. Anyone who has a device at home with hardware or software capable of listening and talking to them should consider their privacy to be already compromised.
What is the role of Analytics & QA in business? How do these recordings help the organization?
Since the last few years, Software firms are constantly working on ways to enhance their products/services. This is due to cut-throat competition in this field and well-informed customers asking for more. Being stagnant or complacent means certain death. This is the main reason these firms hire third-party Analytics and QA agencies to do their dirty work for them.
However, you must know that these contractors do not store your information indefinitely. Your data is scrutinized in an impersonal way. It becomes trash once the Analytics and QA procedure is completed.
Furthermore, in every game developed by Microsoft, there is warning that pop-ups(with a checkbox) as you install the game asking you for permission to become a part of the QA and Analytics process. The installation process doesn’t move ahead if you uncheck this box. This is what can enrage a user as he or she does not have an option to protect their privacy.
What exactly did the contractors do? And what do they have to say about this ordeal?
The statement that the contractors gave to popular tech magazine MotherBoard does not match with the one given by the spokesperson of Microsoft. Contractors agreed to have listened to recordings from Xbox users. They also said that Microsoft asked them to do so to improve the console’s voice command features.
They were supposed to listen to the audio-only when the user said something like “Xbox” or “Hey Cortana”. But sometimes the recording was done for no specific reason.