Gamers spend a lot of hours each week with their eyes locked on-screen. Information Solutions Group reports that fifteen percent of British avid social gamers turn their attention to videogames on a console, mobile or PC for at least six hours per week. This represents no one-way mirror, however, since today’s consoles now offer outsiders the ability to look into our lives. As we look into our videogames played on an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, who looks back out at us from the other side, and how can we protect ourselves?
Xbox One and Kinect: Looking Out While You Look In
The new generation of Kinect users for Xbox Live can do more than track their motion to simulate swinging a lightsaber or break-dancing on-screen. When gaming, browsing, or Skyping on an Xbox One, Microsoft’s privacy FAQ claims that the built-in Kinect will record picture and sound data even though this data cannot leave the person’s ownership without permission. This surveillance promise seems helpful, yet it’s common knowledge that Microsoft has previously handed over customer information, including recorded Skype data, to the National Security Agency during the PRISM program. The new Kinect comes standard with every Xbox One, meaning that every Xbox customer represents a potential pathway for surveillance whenever their Kinect becomes triggered.
PlayStation 4: Identity Theft And Gaming
In the gaming world, anonymity represents the most powerful tool against identity theft, but anonymity may go extinct now that next-generation consoles try to blend together online play with social media. PlayStation 4 users can utilise their real names instead of gamer tags in order to play socially. Gaming socially brings benefits but also risk, since e-thieves will capitalise on personal information details in order to trick victims on social platforms, including online gaming. Gamers who plug in each day without realising the risks of their behaviour can get information from IdentityTheftProtection.org to understand their ability to dissuade identity thieves from taking advantage of their online gaming profile. Never use any mention of your real name, your address or the image of a personal photograph when gaming online, since these provide phishers and hackers with the tools they need to open up faulty lines of credit or gain access to your financial information.
Wii U: Locked Identities
When it comes to surveillance, gamers have the least to fear from the Nintendo Wii U, which has no recording features for its motion capture system. The Nintendo ID system, however, restricts a person’s access to their own data, since the incorporation of an ID on each individual Wii U system makes it impossible for anyone else to access data on the console. Wii fans can use the Nintendo ID to transfer their previous-generation videogames to the new system, but it’s a one-way street, since it applies to the hardware rather than the software. As such, gamers lose whatever data had previously been downloaded onto the console computer when buying a used Nintendo console.