One central feature of Orwell’s “1984” was the Telescreen. A sort of two way television set, citizens had neither the option to turn off the Telescreen’s continuous propagana nor disable its always-watching and always-listening microphone and camera.
One central feature of Microsoft’s “Xbox One” is the Kinect 2. Turning your TV into a sort of two way television set, gamers have neither the option to disconnect the Kinect nor disable its always-watching and always-listening microphone and camera.
The key difference? Orwell’s Telescreen was a crude device, mostly aimed at picking up unintentionally-spoken “thoughtcrime.”
The Kinect is capable of identifying everyone in the room, charting personal details like their heart rate (are they responding to the propaganda?), and disallowing the playing of movies of more people are present than allowed by license!
Germany’s federal data protection commissioner Peter Schaar puts it politely:
“In the guise of a “game console,” Microsoft is pushing a surveillance device onto the market. The Xbox constantly records all possible personal information about me. Reaction times, my learning ability, or my emotional state. This data is processed on an external server and possibly passed on to third parties. The user has no control over whether this data is ever erased.”