You thought you had privacy issues with the TSA…beware of you gaming system’s snooping!

I realize this is the craziest week in the United States when it comes to traveling, one of the reasons I am thankful I hardly have to go further than 45 minutes by car…even that can be stressful at times! Of course couple this with the new TSA regulations for security screening that some are criticizing violate our privacy and civil rights and you have a recipe for a “lovely” travel season, once again I am thankful I will not be participating in this carnival.

Of course what I find interesting is there is an uproar over security actions that are necessary to protect our safety, I realize there have been some cases that are reprehensible, embarrassing and unnecessary, but if we are really up in arms about this violation of civil liberties what about the new XBox Kinect. The Kinect is the answer from Microsoft to go after the Wii market, the gaming market where simple controllers are too pedestrian and instead the way you move your arms, legs, body, head and other body parts will be translated onto the gaming screen.

Looks cool, doesn’t it! And it appears to be the new hot gaming accessory coming to the market, look out Wii! What is more interesting/frightening is the fact that the cameras that are leveraged to see what you are doing and translate those actions into the video game…can also see who is in the room, what they are wearing and what they are watching.  Ummm talk about big brother! I realize from a marketing point of view it is gold, I can run an ad on the television and actually track whether or not your watch…wow. I can use placement ads in your favorite show and see if your eyes go to that spot? Awesome. I can figure out if you live in Boston but are a Steeler fan? Great. I know whether or not you drink Coke or Pepsi? As I have stated before, there is a heated battle over the control of the television, it remains the center of our entertainment universe. The ability to bring “seeing” devices into that space would be a gold mine for marketers, but also touches a dangerous zone of privacy.

Do we really want to grant corporations and marketers such unfettered access into our homes via this game console? I realize that everything we do – surf the web, purchase goods and services, stores we walk into etc etc – is being tracked at some level and many times bundled and sold to entities interested in selling us products and services. However the visual and audio sanctity of our homes remains something that, until now, has been safe from this tracking. Seems to me that this too is under threat.

Is this good or bad? Or should we just accept that privacy is dead and move on!

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