Some PlayStation 4 users who downloaded the latest update to 8.0 received an unwanted surprise this morning: their console informs them that Sony has the right to record their voice for moderation purposes.
Here’s a few examples:
So obviously, in case you all didn’t know this in advance. But apparently Sony’s latest update for PS4 and will continue to 5 will record your voice while you’re in a party chat. pic.twitter.com/T0VIbwIpZe
– TSN | Ittarra BooOda: Still recovering (@IttarraOda) October 14, 2020
Initially, the release notes for the update did not mention voice recordings. But at some point today, Sony clarified the meaning of the messages in an update to its official blog post.
Here is the exact language of Sony:
After this update, users see a notification about Party Safety and that voice chats can be recorded in parties. Recording voice chat moderation is a feature that will be available on the PS5 when it starts, and will allow users to record their voice chats on the PS5 and send them for moderation review. The pop-up you see on the PS4 at the moment is to let you know that when you chat with a PS5 user (after booting), they can send these recordings from their PS5 console to SIE.
To translate this statement, it seems that by joining a voice chat, even with the older PlayStation 4, your voice can be recorded and sent to Sony for moderation by another user. This can certainly be invasive – in theory, anything you say in a voice chat can be sent to Sony without your explicit consent. But the feature can also be a useful tool to help people report bad party members who may be harassing them.
Based on Sony’s language, it doesn’t seem like Sony is actively listening to all your conversations with your friends during your last rounds. Autumn boys.
Software 8.0 also changes the way parties and messages work and adds new avatars, parental communication controls, and support for two-factor authentication applications.
And in another move to prepare for the release of the PS5, Sony is rebranding the PS4 Remote Play for mobile, Mac and PC applications into the PS Remote Play, and you’ll be able to use the app to connect to the PlayStation 5 when the new console launches next month.