Privacy Sold Separately: PDP Develops Kinect TV Mount And Closes Shut The All-Seeing Eye
Some time ago it was announced that the beady eye of Microsoft would be forever trained on their customers; the mandatory Kinect shipping with the Xbox One imposing a stalwart watch over your sofa and your sofa-going antics. After considerable outcry, this requirement was of course canned and a palpable sense of calm fell across the internet. The difficulty is that now that the XBone will allow you to disconnect the Orwellian monstrosity, the useful features it enables are lost to the user. If for you, pressing a physical button to turn your console on is ‘So last gen’ then you are plum out of luck when it comes to voice-commands. Gesture based gaming (Read: wild flailing-based) also takes a hit with the camera it depends on being safely locked away in a drawer.
Luckily the enterprising sons of guns at PDP have used a potent combination of cutting edge science and ancient black magic to synthesize a mount which allows a little panel of plastic to slide across the lens thus cleverly dashing Microsoft’s fiendish plans for a worldwide surveillance network. With all of the functionality of a small piece of tape or paper, this revolutionary device will set you back a paltry £12 ($20 in new world money) and will ensure that while your every spoken word is still banked in the immense data centre dug into the mountains below MS-HQ, (and you can still use voice commands) they won’t be able to tell what you were wearing when you said it.
Cynicism you say? Sarcasm even?! Well yes, you may have detected a hint, but if I feel underwhelmed by this, I assure you that it is with good reason. If any company tells you that it is requirement to have an always-on microphone and camera running in order to use their product they are either lying, or selling a product that you want nothing to do with. Granted Microsoft has claimed numerous times that they are not recording any data for marketing purposes or anything else nefarious, but let’s be honest: it wouldn’t be the first time that we have been lied to by a massive corporation. It’s also good to keep in mind that while their marketing guff says that “Privacy is a top priority at Microsoft.” It will never ever ever be THE top priority, which is of course, staking those benjies, making that money, converting hard labour into capital via the systemic exploitation of said labour. Whatever way you look at it, there is a big ole payday to be had from selling our personal information on to advertisers, and these guys are happy to do it. We agree to it in all of those EULAs that we don’t read, and it has been going on since long before anyone tried to be so bold as to install telescreens in our living rooms.