Sony Is Watching You… And Recording It
All this time Microsoft has been under fire from individuals, journalists and even the German government for the fact that Xbox One’s Kinect can record you and store the data. In fact some data will be sent to Microsoft. However, we’ve been assured that it is not possible for third-party’s to exploit this ability of the Kinect. Get ready to rage, rinse, repeat because Sony’s updated Terms and Conditions reveal that the company can actively monitor and record communication between players.
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There have been rumours about this and I believe Microsoft has already stated it can monitor communication between players over Xbox Live but also over Skype.
In a section in the company’s new Software Usage Terms entitled ‘Are we monitoring PSN?’ Sony is relatively transparent in saying that they reserve the right to “monitor and record” text or voice communication, or user-generated media (UGM) where they feel – if a player submits a grief report against another for example. They also reassure us that they cannot monitor all communication. It seems more like a case of “will not” or rather they haven’t put together the manpower and resources to do so. That’s why they’re outsourcing it to the NSA. Punchline!
The full statement on Sony’s site reads as follows:
Are we monitoring PSN?
Yes but we can’t monitor all PSN activity and we make no commitment to do so. However, we reserve the right in our sole discretion to monitor and record any or all of your PSN activity and to remove any of your UGM at our sole discretion, without further notice to you.
Your use of PSN and our community features may be recorded and collected by us or sent to us by other users as described in 13.1.
Any information collected in this way, for example, your UGM, the content of your voice and text communications, video of your gameplay, the time and location of your activities, and your name, your PSN Online ID and IP address, may be used by us or our affiliated companies to enforce these Terms and the SEN Terms of Service, to comply with the law, to protect our rights and those of our licensors and users, and to protect the personal safety of our employees and users.
This information may be passed to the police or other appropriate authorities. By accepting these Software Usage Terms, you expressly consent to this.
How well Sony implements this monitoring system remains to be seen but a number of people are definitely going to be unhappy about it and the prospect of an invasion of privacy.