Yesterday when Sony rolled out the new PS4 System Software 8.00, users noticed a strange prompt when entering a chat party. The prompt alerted users that voice chats may be recorded for moderation. Users got quite concerned about the new feature questioning how safe their privacy was in terms of chat parties and the things they talk about in them. However, it seems there’s nothing to be concerned about. Sony released a statement after the uproar on social media clarifying the news.
According to Sony, the new feature is only available on PS5. The alert is simply warning users that when they use a chat on PS5 they can submit recordings from the console to Sony for moderation.
To clarify, Sony does not listen to your chat parties on PS4 or PS5. However, when joining a party chat on the new console, your voice can be recorded and submitted to the company for moderation by you or another user. This system sounds the same as a text chat whereas users can report abusive messages to Sony.
It sounds like a safeguard for users to report any abusive chats to Sony in case it ever happens. However, other users can send the PS5 chat parties recording to Sony with your voice without your consent.
The big takeaway from this should is the fact that Sony is not listening to your chats. Instead, should you be rude in the future on a PS5 chat party, you could find yourself in trouble. Anyone could report the chat and Sony will listen in to hear what you said. How will they know it is you? Perhaps there are systems in place to know where the voice is coming from under which user.