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Microsoft may bring targeted political ads to Xbox Live

Microsoft may bring targeted political ads to Xbox Live

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Your Xbox Live dashboard may soon feature targeted political ads. According to the Washington Post, Microsoft has been courting politicians to start using its service to advertise their campaigns, going so far as to hand out promotional information at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference in San Diego.

In 2012 Microsoft rolled out an election hub for the Xbox 360, which featured live coverage and news, but this would be something different — ads that use both public information and data culled from your Xbox Live account to deliver targeted ads for specific demographics. The report makes no mention of the Kinect; Microsoft has previously said that it has policies in place that "prohibit the collection, storage or use of Kinect data for the purpose of advertising."

According to the Post, Microsoft is being "particularly aggressive" about the service's ability to target specific groups, including women and minorities. The ads would be featured both on the Xbox Live dashboard and across other Microsoft products, including Skype. American politicians advertising specifically to gaming audiences isn't an entirely new phenomenon — during both the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns President Obama had ads featured in popular games like Madden and Tetris.