PlayStation 5: Sony will be able to listen and record party chats

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The latest system update on PlayStation came with a number of features intended to improve party communication, as well as flexible parent controls, but it will allow conversations to be recorded and monitored by Sony. 

Following the update, PS4 users took to Twitter to complain about a popup which appeared on their home screen, which read: "Voice chats may be recorded for moderation. By joining, you agree to being recorded."

Sony later clarified what the update meant in a blog post on the PlayStation website, and said: "Voice chat recording for moderation is a feature that will be available on PS5 when it launches, and will enable users to record their voice chats on PS5 and submit them for moderation review.

"The pop up you’re seeing on PS4 right now is to let you know that when you participate in a chat with a PS5 user (post-launch), they may submit those recordings from their PS5 console to SIE."

Essentially, the voice chat recording feature appears to be intended for the PS5, but any users on older consoles who are speaking to somebody on the latest version will also be subject to recording.

Sony likely intends to use the recorded information to keep watch over chats and users, and the recorded audio may help the company to track toxic players and stop harassment on the platform. 

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However, there's also a question of the invasion of a user's privacy, and PlayStation's privacy policy reads: "We reserve the right in our sole discretion to monitor (including through the use of technology that automatically detects images, text, and URLs that breach our Terms of Service) and record your online activity and communication throughout PlayStation Network and to remove and/or delete any content.

"We may revise this Privacy Policy at any time and we will update this Policy with any revisions. By continuing to access or use the Services after those changes become effective, you acknowledge and accept that PI will be handled in accordance with the revised Privacy Policy."

The version 8.00 update has other features allowing all microphones to be muted, enhanced two-step verification to support third-party authenticator apps, and has linked Party and Messages to streamline communication between players.

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