In a digital world where all microphones send a recording of what we say somewhere, you can't be comfortable even when you're playing: is PlayStation spying on us?
Bad surprise for PlayStation 5 fans: from now on, chat conversations can be recorded by players and listened to by Sony for moderation purposes. It's a blow for console users who discovered this new feature in the latest PS4 update, which was released yesterday.
The latest PlayStation 4 update, number 8.0, which was released just a few hours ago, brought this very unwelcome news to gamers who saw their privacy at risk. The on-screen alert message is clear: "Voice chats during parties can be recorded and accessed by other users. By participating in voice chats you agree to have your voice recorded." The news came as a bolt out of the blue, as until now Sony had never mentioned recording voice chat exchanges on PS5, now a month away from market launch.
PlayStation 5 and the recording of chats: Sony's confirmation
To calm the minds of gamers, who in recent days are in ecstasy for the presentation of PS5 and did not expect such news at all, Sony has released a short message on its official blog explaining in more detail the treatment of recordings and the main purpose:
"As a result of this update, users are seeing a notification about the security of Parties and that voice chats in Parties may be recorded. Voice chat recording for moderation is a feature that will be available on PS5 at launch and will allow users to record their own voice chats on PS5 and submit them for review for moderation purposes. The pop-up being shown right now on PS4 is to communicate that by participating in a chat with a PS5 user (post-launch), they could send recordings from their PS5 console to SIE (ed. Sony Interactive Entertainment)."
PlayStation 5 and voice recordings: privacy concerns
With the message on its blog, Sony confirmed that recordings sent by PlayStation 5 users will be used exclusively for moderation, so that it can identify and take action against misbehavior or harassment by some gamers. Nothing to do, therefore, with the indiscriminate listening of conversations between players.
From the players, however, doubts about privacy seem to persist. The way in which audio clips are sent is particularly perplexing, as it would leave the other participants in the parties in the dark, even if they are not directly involved. It doesn't seem therefore an issue destined to return in short time and in many they wait for new reassurances on the confidentiality.