Microsoft will challenge any government attempt to spy through Kinect

Posted on News

Microsoft’s been in the news a fair bit lately on the strength of its supposed collaboration with the US National Security Agency – a Guardian report alleges that the latter is able to gather user data via Skype, Outlook and Hotmail, but only with Microsoft’s consent.  This caused quite a stir with potential consumers, obviously nobody wants to be spied on, but Microsoft has continued to deny the possibility of espionage via Kinect.

Microsoft has also rejected claims that it will allow the NSA to gather data via the Xbox One’s Kinect sensor, which is required for the console to run. “Absent a new law, we don’t believe the government has the legal authority to compel us or any other company that makes products with cameras and microphones to start collecting voice and video data,” reads a comment mailed to the Verge. “And we’d aggressively challenge in court any attempts to try and force us to do so.”

In a Microsoft blog post, general counsel Brad Smith revealed that the firm is at loggerheads with the US government over its attempts to provide full disclosure. “Today we have asked the Attorney General of the United States to personally take action to permit Microsoft and other companies to share publicly more complete information about how we handle national security requests for customer information.

“We believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedom to share more information with the public, yet the Government is stopping us. For example, Government lawyers have yet to respond to the petition we filed in court on June 19, seeking permission to publish the volume of national security requests we have received. We hope the Attorney General can step in to change this situation.