German data protection commissioner expresses privacy concerns about Xbox One

Peter Schaar, Germany's federal commissioner for data protection and freedom of information, is concerned about the privacy implications of the Xbox One, Spiegel reports.

Microsoft announced the console last week, touting the always-on capabilities and the new Kinect's ability to listen and respond to commands even when it appears to be powered down. The new Kinect can also identify users, track heart rate and muscle movement and see in the dark.

"The Xbox [One] registered all sorts of personal information about me," Schaar said (via Bing Translator). "Reaction rates, my learning or emotional states. You are then processed on a remote server and possibly even to third parties. Whether it be deleted ever, the person concerned cannot influence."

Unlike with the Xbox 360, the Xbox One requires a Kinect to function, though Microsoft's hardware program manager John Link told Polygon that "there are settings, obviously, in the console to be able to change the settings of how your Kinect is used, if you're interested."

Microsoft responded in the wake of the announcement saying that privacy is a "top priority" for the company. You can check out Polygon's impressions of the new Kinect in a video from the day of the next-gen console's unveiling.

We've reached out to Microsoft to see how the Xbox One and Kinect will handle user information, including whether the information it collects will be transmitted to third parties, and will update this report as more information becomes available.

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