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Murdoch’s Press Says Microsoft Wants to Spy on People’s Houses With Cameras

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 2:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Room 101 in your living room?

1984 and room scene

Summary: The Wall Street Journal says that Microsoft wants to have KINect spy on people for advertisers

MICROSOFT has been patenting some camera-related ‘ideas’ very recently (allegedly simple things like the "record" button) and going further back a few years we also wrote about one patent which specifies a method for webcam or a camera placed next to a television set spying on the viewer and sending information to advertisers, broadcasters, and so on. It’s a very Orwellian vision where people are being spied on inside their own house. According to this new report just sent to us by a reader, KINect might be the embodiment of these Orwellian ideas. From the opening:

Microsoft Corp. officials are considering using the camera on their new Kinect videogame system to target ads to people watching the games.

Microsoft denies it, but given that the article says “officials are considering” and not implementing Microsoft could say just about anything and not be called a liar. The hilarious thing is that Microsoft tells the author that it respects privacy. Like this? Or this? How about this?

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  1. twitter said,

    November 15, 2010 at 6:34 pm


    US cable companies have already put cameras into cable boxes. This is one reason I have not had cable TV in more than a decade. The companies have various excuses and promise they don’t want to know more than who’s in the room. It’s also funny that Microsoft will patent the abuse and tax the other snoops.

    The practice should be outlawed. Some people think they can put tape over the cameras but this assumes they will be able to spot them all the time.

  2. Jose_X said,

    November 16, 2010 at 10:45 am


    Besides that Microsoft can keep foiling the Linux software driver efforts and at critical junctures, I had not realized this obvious gain for Microsoft by having the machines installed even by Linux users.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    They also make a profit upon sale. KINect costs around $50 to make.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Besides that Microsoft can keep foiling the Linux software driver efforts

    Sorry I wasn’t clear. I was referring to the Linux driver contest for that device and how Microsoft, after initially saying there weren’t happy with the contest, backed down when someone posted a proof-of-concept driver. Eg, http://www.linuxtoday.com/developer/2010111400235NWMS

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