“Safe While Gaming Guide” is a content series including tips, strategies and tutorials about protecting yourself during online multi-player gaming sessions and other online activities on your gaming systems and platforms. It is also detailing features and policies on how to report abuse, inappropriate behavior, harassment/stalking, and other bad behavior. This guide is not exclusive to consoles.
Microsoft just released an updated version of their Xbox privacy statement explaining not just how Xbox One‘s Kinect collects our user data but also about Xbox products and services. I will outline the stuff you need to know in a series of parts or cuts.
Please use this information as a guideline when using Microsoft products and services for the first time or upgrading. It would be presumptuous to believe that you do not need to read any statements concerning the very things you are most animate about on the Internet such as Privacy, Terms of Service, User Agreements, Internet Rights, etc.
Cut 1: User Accounts and Personal Information
I outlined Microsoft accounts and how your personal information is collected and used.
- Microsoft accounts are still created and used the same way as you use it now. You create a Microsoft account to login to your Xbox Live account plus other Microsoft products, services and their partner’s products and services.
- It’s important to read the privacy statement on websites that require access to your Microsoft account, or you want to use your Microsoft account to login. Microsoft does not monitor these websites and these websites do not have the same privacy statements as Microsoft.
- Gamertags will still be relevant and transferable to Xbox One.
- You don’t need to carry over your Xbox Live to Xbox One if you don’t want to. But if you do, all your Achievements and Gamerscore points will carry over.
- Gamertags will remain to be 16 characters in length, if you choose to not keep your current gamertag and create a new one.
- Keep in mind that any personal information that Microsoft collects are used to improve their services, products, experience and advertising. Microsoft may or may not hand over your personal information to the government upon request, but that is a risk you are willing to take once you agree to their terms of service upon using their products and services.
The Information Microsoft Collects
- The information you provide yourself: Registration profiles, signing in to apps, websites, etc.,
- Browsing through their services: collects your IP address, cookies, location, the pages you visit, and features you use
- Service Statistics: Tracking your move every time you visit their services or products connected to the internet
- The device you use to sign on Xbox Live in order to prevent or stop cheating: information about applications, software, hardware running on the device, your IP Address, and other non-personally identifiable information.
- Searching using Bing: All search terms are stored and Xbox voice-search clips are stored, both of which are kept separately from any account information that personally identifies you.
- Live Television: stores information about the Live television you watch, only from Adult account and not from Child or Teen accounts. You can opt-out of this collection.
- Xbox Music and Video: Music and Video you purchase or stream from Microsoft through Xbox.
- Third-party videos: You can purchase videos or stream from third-party apps on Xbox. Microsoft can collection this data but you can opt-out.
How Microsoft collects your personal information
Microsoft collects your information through these:
- web forms
- Web technologies like beacons and cookies (I recommend using the Chrome app Ghostery to block beacons and advert tracking)
- web logging (Tell your browser you don’t want to be tracked)
- software installed on your device (Go to individual software to view their settings/preferences and see if they have an option to disable sending anonymous information)
How Microsoft will use your personal information
- Microsoft uses your personal information to operate, improve and personalize the products and services they offer.
- Communication to their users about their account and security updates
- Advertising on the platforms you use to access your Microsoft account
Reasons Microsoft shares your personal information with others
- Microsoft does not disclose your personal information to a third-party without consent, except for these cases:
- Within Microsoft affiliates and subsidiaries
- As part of a merger or sale of a business
- With vendors and agents of Microsoft
- When required by law or to respond to legal process or lawful requests, including from law enforcement or other government agencies
- When required to combat fraud or protect our interests
- To protect life and safety
- More information on how they fully disclose your information in certain situations, click here.
How to access your personal information
- View or edit your personal information including billing and account information, privacy settings, online safety, and data sharing preferences by going to Xbox.com/Accounts, or through the settings on the Xbox 360 or Xbox One console.
- Cancel your account anytime by calling customer support. You cannot delete your account online or through the Xbox 360 or Xbox One console. Believe me, I tried.
Like my Guides? Tell me what you think of them in the comments or forum. Read the very first one for Xbox 360/Xbox One!
Now Available – Cut 2: Kinect, Xbox Media and Video Uploading Privacy