You'll have to agree to a new user agreement later this week to continue using Xbox Live, which "asks all users to commit to keeping their contact information up to date" in an effort to clamp down on potential fraud - and demands your consent to share personal info with third-party partners.
It's a security thing. Details below.
We recognize that some parents may not sign into their Xbox Live accounts as often as others, and they may have trouble remembering their login details. Now is a great time to recover that information so that you can be ready when the updated TOU rolls out to your family’s accounts.
As part of the new agreement, we’re happy to report that parents will only need to accept the TOU once for all the children in their home. We hope this will make this process easier for our customers.
Protecting your account from unauthorized access and fraud is a top priority for us. It helps keep Xbox Live safer and more secure for everyone. That’s why the TOU now asks all users to commit to keeping their contact information up to date. By the way, now is a great time to make sure your security proofs are valid and accessible to you.
So far, so understandable. Microsoft will be keen to maintain Xbox Live's reputation as a secure platform, especially going into the next generation. However, here's the interesting bit:
More app experiences available via Xbox Live are provided by a partner with whom you may have a separate online account. If you choose to link this account with your Xbox Live account, we confirm key data points across the accounts by sharing data such as your name, address, email address and date of birth with the partner.
In this TOU update, customers agree to allow Microsoft to share this information in this manner.
This definitely appears to be a legitimate and smart way to crack down on security - and perhaps on age ratings too - but we daresay that many Xbox Live users will balk at having to sign up to to a blanket data sharing agreement. Especially since Microsoft hasn't yet fully detailed the extent to which data (including Kinect metrics) will be shared with advertising partners. As Late suggests in the comments, though, it will hopefully be possible to purposefully not link third-party accounts with your Microsoft ID - it will likely depend on the specific application and service.
What's your take on this?