Xbox camera and privacy

Applies to: Xbox

On Xbox, the camera that’s part of Kinect lets you make Skype video calls, take pictures, and more. Many apps request and use the camera, and Xbox settings give you control over which apps can use it.

Some people may be concerned about unknown apps, organizations, or malware using their camera. On Xbox, the camera is part of Kinect, and it’s only active if you’ve turned on Kinect. It doesn’t work, and other apps can’t access it, if you’ve turned off Kinect. You’ll always know when Kinect is on and can capture video or images, because you’ll see an indicator light near the camera lens on the left side of your Kinect sensor.

Three types of cameras

There are three types of cameras that apps and services may have access to, depending on what the cameras come with and how they’re installed on your device:

  • A color camera is used for taking traditional color photos or videos.
  • An infrared camera takes a grayscale (black and white) photo or video based on infrared intensity.
  • A depth camera can see the shapes of items in front of it, and how far they are from the device. For example, a depth camera can be used to recognize when a person is in front of the device.

How to control which apps can use the camera

To allow or block specific apps and services

  1. Press the Xbox button  on your controller to open the guide, then select System > Settings > Account > Privacy & online safety > App privacy > Camera.
  2. Make sure Camera on is selected.
  3. Under Choose which apps can use your camera, turn individual apps and services settings on or off.

 The information collected is used only to enable use of the Alarm app.

To block most apps from using the camera

  1. Press the Xbox button  on your controller to open the guide, then select System > Settings > Account > Privacy & online safety > App privacy > Camera.
  2. Clear the check box next to Camera on. This turns off the camera for your account on that console, while allowing other people use the camera with their own accounts.