If you signed in to Xbox live yesterday, you were probably pleasantly greeted with an update prompt – and then bitterly disappointed that said update included no new functionality whatsoever (aside, probably, from a few new anti-piracy measures). Don’t worry – the big update with a ton of new features is still coming – but you’ll have to wait until the end of November for the “most significant update to the Dashboard since NXE.”
You probably already know that the new update brings with it a new Kinect-centric user interface – along with other useful doodads like Cloud saving, gaming beacons for easy multi-player action and a host of new TV-on-demand features that we wont be able to use. You might even know that it comes with Bing-powered voice commands for searching through media and general console commands. What you might not know is that Microsoft saves all of your voice search queries. For ever.
In the latest sign-up to preview the new dashboard, the user agreement states :
Note that when you or immediate family members permanently living in your home use Bing voice search, all voice commands are sent to Microsoft and stored on Microsoft servers to provide the Bing voice search service and improve Microsoft products. Searches are saved in association with your Windows Live ID. You cannot disable Bing voice search, but can choose not to use Bing voice search if you do not want all voice commands sent to Microsoft.
It’s likely not a big deal in any way, and will probably be used to improve the search service over time, but those of you donning tinfoil hats will see it as just another way for the man to track you and beam subliminal adverts directly in to your brain. Either way, voice searches are tied to your Windows Live account for eternity, so you probably don’t want to ask your Xbox if Netflix has Big Tittied Swedish Hookers 7 available to purchase.
Last Updated: October 13, 2011