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Xbox camera and privacy

On Xbox, the camera that is part of Kinect lets you make Skype video calls, take pictures, etc. 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 is 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.

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 are 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

In general, to allow or block specific apps and services:

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


Even if you turn off the camera for each app under Choose apps that can use your camera, some listed apps might still be able to open the camera so you can take pictures or videos. The camera won’t take images or video unless you explicitly select the Photo or Video button.

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

To block most apps from using the camera:

  1. On your Xbox, open the guide, select Settings > All settings > Account > Privacy & online safety > App privacy > Camera.
  2. Turn off Camera on. This turns off the camera for your account on that Xbox while letting other people use the camera with their own accounts.