Some PlayStation 4 users who downloaded the latest 8.0 update this morning received an unwelcome surprise: their console informed them that Sony had the right to record their voice for moderation purposes.
Here are a couple of examples:
So apparently, in case you didn’t know in advance. But apparently the most recent Sony update for 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 release notes for the update contained no mention of voice recordings. But at some point today, Sony clarified the meaning of the messages in an update to its official blog post.
Here is Sony’s exact language:
Following this update, users see a party safety notification and that party voice chats may be logged. Voice chat recording for moderation is a feature that will be available on PS5 at launch and will allow users to record their voice chats on PS5 and submit them for moderation review. The pop-up you’re seeing right now on PS4 is to let you know that when you join a chat with a PS5 user (post-launch), they may be sending those recordings from their PS5 console to SIE.
To translate that statement, it appears that by joining a voice chat, even with the old PlayStation 4, your voice can be recorded and sent to Sony for moderation by another user. This could certainly be invasive – in theory, anything you say in a voice chat could be sent to Sony without your explicit consent. But the feature could also be a useful tool to help people report bad guys who might harass them.
Based on Sony’s language, it doesn’t appear that Sony is actively listening to all the conversations you are having with your friends during your final rounds of Autumn boys.
The 8.0 software also changes the way parties and messages work and adds new avatars, controls for communicating with parents, and authentication app support for two-factor authentication.
And in another move to prepare for the launch of the PS5, Sony has renamed the PS4 Remote Play mobile, Mac and PC apps to PS Remote Play and you will be able to use the app to connect to a PlayStation 5 when the new console launches. next month.