The Xbox One's Kinect peripheral will always be listening to its users, according to a new report - but Microsoft has insisted that it won't cause a privacy headache.
During the Xbox One reveal event last night, Kinect was used to action voice commands. Basic phrases built into the hardware will allow users to switch apps, browse content and even turn their console on from standby.
Microsoft's hardware program manager John Link confirmed that in order to do this, Kinect will always be listening to the audience by default, even when powered down. But he added that it does so in a limited state, so that developers know that they are able to take advantage of the technology at any time should they wish to.
"The Kinect has a variety of settings," he said. "You know, it's always available to the system, so ... you can count, as an application developer or a game developer, [that] everyone's going to have a Kinect. You always have that stream available. And then, you know, there are settings, obviously, in the console to be able to change the settings of how your Kinect is used, if you're interested."
When asked about what this could mean for privacy on the new console, Microsoft fired across this statement: "The new Kinect is listening for a specific cue, like 'Xbox on. We know our customers want and expect strong privacy protections to be built into our products, devices and services, and for companies to be responsible stewards of their data.
"Microsoft has more than 10 years of experience making privacy a top priority. Kinect for Xbox 360 was designed and built with strong privacy protections in place and the new Kinect will continue this commitment."