Microsoft Opens Up About Data Collection on Xbox

Posted on September 15, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X with 1 Comment

Microsoft will soon issue an update for Xbox One that provides a bit of information about the telemetry data that it collects. This update will come to Xbox One Series S and Series X as well.

“To be more transparent with our player community, we will surface more about what data we collect,  right on your console,” Microsoft’s Dave McCarthy explains.  “Soon, when you sign[in to] your Xbox One console, you will receive an overview [of] the required diagnostic data we collect. This update will also be available on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S when they launch on November 10.”

As is the case with Windows 10, there is a certain amount of telemetry data that Microsoft will collect whether you want that or not, and there’s no way to turn it off. Examples of this “required diagnostic data” include information about errors that could impair the console’s ability to run games and apps, details about the console setup success and failure to diagnose issues that would keep you from using the console, and details of software update success and failure, as well as other console errors.

In the good news front, Microsoft says that it no longer collects data from voice search and speech-to-text conversion. And there is a separate set of optional data that you can send to Microsoft if you’d like. This includes actions you take while using your console, enhanced error reporting (detailed diagnostic data for conditions causing errors and crashes), and console performance data, Microsoft says.

As for the rationale for this data collection, it’s to help users “game with minimal interruptions,” Microsoft says. The data keeps your console and your games and apps up to date, maintains your console’s safety and security, and helps troubleshoot and fix problems.

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Comments (1)

One response to “Microsoft Opens Up About Data Collection on Xbox”

  1. curtisspendlove

    I like the additional transparency. I feel like they should just be forthright upfront in a way that encourages users to opt into the telemetry.

    I trust MS. I think the majority of people would keep telemetry active if they had a brief “this is why we do it, please send the data” screen with the opt-in checkboxes already checked.

    and it would help combat all this “MS is shady with their telemetry” nonsense I’m hearing more and more frequently.

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