Xbox makes changes to collecting diagnostic data, aims to be more transparent

Xbox Project Scarlett SoC
Xbox Project Scarlett SoC (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Xbox has announced some changes they're making to the way Xbox consoles collect data on their users.
  • Xbox consoles will now give new and returning users a diagnostic overview of what information their console will collect.
  • Users will also be able to optionally choose whether or not they wish to share additional diagnostic data with Xbox.
  • This is an overall effort to be more transparent, and give players more control over what information they share.

Xbox is making some important changes today with the way the collect diagnostic data and other information on Xbox consoles. The changes are threefold, going over how Xbox will tell users what data is being collected, options for sharing additional data, and what data will no longer be collected. These changes will affect new users moving forward, including the upcoming Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, but will also roll out to existing users in the near future.

Xbox Privacy Diagnostic Changes (Image credit: Xbox)

Xbox Privacy Diagnostic Changes (Image credit: Xbox)

Source: Xbox

The first change is a diagnostic overview, which will outline exactly what data your Xbox console shares, and why it's necessary for it to do so. Players logging in may see a new message going over this information, clearly outlining how Xbox uses this information and what information it's collecting.

Required diagnostic information includes:

  • Details of errors that might hamper the console's ability to run games and apps
  • Details of console setup success and failure to diagnose issues that would keep you from using the console
  • Details of software update success and failure, as well as other console errors

The second change is for optional diagnostic data. Users will now have the choice in additional information they can share beyond the necessities, to hopefully improve their overall Xbox experience.

Optional diagnostic data includes:

  • Actions you take while using your console
  • Enhanced error reporting (detailed diagnostic data for conditions causing errors and crashes)
  • Console performance data

Finally, Xbox will no longer collect data on voice searches and speech-to-text conversions, as the Xbox team decided this data was not necessary to improving the Xbox experience. This is likely a welcome change for many people, when voice recordings and other related information remaining continued privacy concerns.

These changes are small overall, but are an important step for Xbox to be totally transparent towards its customers, and for Xbox users to be confident that their information is protected and private, and that Xbox only collects what is absolutely necessary. How do you feel about the changes Xbox is making towards privacy and transparency? Do you feel that it's enough in this modern world? Let us know in the comments below!



Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.