Login | Signup

New Xbox Live Terms Of Use Will Let Microsoft Share Your Personal Info With Third Parties

Jonathan Lester
Microsoft, Terms Of Use, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox One

New Xbox Live Terms Of Use Will Let Microsoft Share Your Personal Info With Third Parties

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.

Pending the new Terms Of Use going live later this week, Microsoft issued the following statement:

From time to time, we update and add to the features and services that we offer through Xbox Live. For instance, we recently retired Microsoft Points in favor of local currency. When we make some of these changes, it is necessary for Microsoft to update the Xbox Live Terms of Use (TOU). In order to continue using Xbox Live, you – or your parent, if you are a minor – will need to accept this updated agreement.

Later this week, we will roll out an updated Terms of Use and you will receive a notification on your console that you must accept the new TOU. For many Xbox Live members, this shouldn’t take much time away from what you’re doing. The Xbox Live Terms of Use is a legal agreement, and as a result, parents must accept the TOU on behalf of members who are minors – those who are under 18 in most regions.

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?

Add a comment4 comments
Late  Oct. 29, 2013 at 14:23

Seems to me it's saying that they'll share data if you link your xbox account with a third party app.
If you don't link your account nothing gets shared.

It's hard to ever be positive about EULAs but I see nothing worrying on this occasion.

JonLester  Oct. 29, 2013 at 14:29

A very good point, Late, so good that I'm going to put it in the post. However, it will come down to whether Xbox One apps automatically link your Microsoft ID/XBL account to a third-party service like Netflix etc - or even actually let you access third party services without linking your accounts. It might well be on a case by case basis, at least for the new console.

I've still got an Xbox One pre-order, so I'll be sure to take a look. Won't be too high on my priority list, mind. ;)

Last edited by JonLester, Oct. 29, 2013 at 14:33
Quietus  Oct. 29, 2013 at 15:45

Yeah, it sounds like the key thing is going to be whether they force you to link accounts, which will mean having to create separate accounts for everything. Or, if they have it so you can only access those other features with the same e-mail address used for Live, it will mean that anybody who doesn't want their details shared will be unable to use those features. We'll see...

dieterich  Nov. 2, 2013 at 17:20

I was uncomfortable with this latest user agreement for several reasons. My main concern in all of this is protecting the long term value of my investment. I have over 130 games that I intend to hold on to for a long time. These games, along with a lot of associated DLC represent a small fortune for me, but should I ever find myself without a internet connection or if microsoft should discontinue their service, I stand to lose access to a lot of content and game saves associated with that content. While this is a lot of money to me(not to mention time spent on game saves), no lawyer is going to find it worth his while to assist me in recovering any of my investment from microsoft. This is why class action lawsuits are indispensable. Whats more is microsoft then limits my free speech on this matter by making it a violation of the user agreement to complain about microsoft policy on live. I could not in good conscience agree to the user agreement and as a result have lost not only my DLC and associated game saves, but also a considerable amount of TV shows. This seems to me to be a bit like blackmail. Agree to are terms of use or we'll take thousands of dollars in content away from you. Needless to say, I'm a bit upset.

Blackmail; the use of threats or the manipulation of someone's feelings to force them to do something

Seems pretty plain to me.

I called them and spent the good part of an afternoon on hold. When I finally got someone to respond to me there response was 'if you don't accept the terms of use, you lose access to all of the content you paid for as well as any game saves associated with that content.' They actually blocked MY content that is on MY console in MY own home. I'm a little ****.

Email Address:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.