Some PlayStation 4 users who downloaded the latest 8.0 update had a nasty surprise this morning: their console informed them that Sony had the right to record their voices for moderation.
Here are some examples:
So apparently in case you didn’t know that in advance. But apparently the latest Sony update to the PS4 and will continue on 5 will record your voice during group chat. pic.twitter.com/T0VIbwIpZe
– TSN | Ittarra BooOda: still recovering (@IttarraOda) October 14, 2020
Initially, the update release notes did not contain any mention of voice recordings. But at some point today, Sony clarified the meaning of the posts in an update to its official blog post.
Here is the exact language from Sony:
Following this update, users see a notification regarding group security and that voice conversations in groups can be recorded. Voice chat recording for moderation is a feature that will be available on PS5 when it launches, and will allow users to record their voice chats on PS5 and submit them for moderation review. The pop-up you are seeing on PS4 right now is to let you know that when you join a chat with a PS5 user (after launch) they can submit those recordings from their PS5 console to SIE.
To translate this statement, it appears that by joining a voice chat, even with the old PlayStation 4, your voice could be recorded and submitted to Sony for moderation by another user. It could definitely be invasive – in theory anything you say in a voice chat could be sent to Sony without your explicit consent. But this feature could also be a useful tool in helping people report bad party members who might be harassing them.
From the language of Sony, it does not appear that Sony is actively listening to all of your conversations that you have with your friends during your last rounds of Fall guys.
Software 8.0 also changes the way parties and messages work and adds new avatars, parental communication controls, and authenticator app support for two-factor authentication.
And in another move to prepare for the launch of the PS5, Sony has rebranded the mobile, Mac and PC apps from PS4 Remote Play to PS Remote Play, and you’ll be able to use the app to connect to a PlayStation 5 when the new console launches next month.