Xbox LIVE members in the United States may find themselves bombarded with political ads in the coming months while they're trying to game. As the midterm election races begin to gain steam throughout the country, candidates are constantly looking for new ways to reach more people. Microsoft is giving them a way by using your data to target political ads.
Despite user complaints on the official Xbox forums from 2012 campaign ads, Microsoft seems poised and ready to offer the service again this year. Microsoft officials were spotted handing out promotional materials for Xbox LIVE marketing at the annual CPAC conference. The ads, which would appear on the dashboard, will take into account your age, location, and other factors to determine which ads you'd be shown. It's doubtful that you'll get a free LIVE avatar for suffering through the ads like you could by watching the presidential debates.
If a political campaign provides Microsoft with a list of e-mail addresses, you could be seeing much more of someone you may not particularly care for if yours happens to be on the list. This wouldn't mark the first time Xbox LIVE was used for a political campaign, either. President Obama appeared on Xbox LIVE dashboards in his 2012 re-election run. Microsoft has declined to comment.
One can easily argue that advertisements on a subscription-based service are silly to begin with, but they exist nonetheless. Hopefully they won't be too intrusive, so people can focus on what's truly important on LIVE. We pay to game!