Sony reserves the rights to spy on user PSN activity

By agreeing to the updated license agreement of Sony PlayStation 4, you give the nod to listen to your conversations and read your correspondence.

Sony’s updated terms and conditions reveal that the company can actively monitor and record communication between players. In the company’s new Software Usage Terms entitled “Are we monitoring PSN?” the company said that it has the intention to do so, but reassures that it is unable to monitor all communication.

This basically means that Sony has the ability to read and listen to any of your messages on the PlayStation Network. Sony has stated that the company doesn’t have the power to monitor every user constantly, but if Sony believes it has a cause to monitor your activity then its staff shall. One of the other software clause states that users cannot resell their games without authorization from Sony.

“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,” the statement said.

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.

Sony’s Software Usage Terms also force consumers to accept that all software is licensed and not sold, and that players “must not resell either disc-based software or software downloads, unless expressly authorized by Sony”.

Sony even agrees to remove your content if it wishes. Your full name, address, photos, and date of birth, and even your IP address may be collected and sent to other companies. Besides that convoluted section, the agreement also includes a special segment dedicated to explaining how Sony monitors the PlayStation Network and its users and in what cases it will share information with other companies, polices or other law enforcement authorities.

Microsoft has been policing their services for years now. Microsoft has updated its privacy policy regarding the Xbox One’s new HD Kinect sensor. As per the guidelines, Xbox One owners will have all of their facial recognition details kept private, but they should not expect any conversations over the Kinect to be kept private. Xbox One users can expect little privacy during online gameplay, video and voice chat.

Right now, the new software usage policy will raise concerns when we’re living in a time where the debate over individual privacy and nations monitoring populations in the name of security has flared up. With the proliferation of mobile, this debate will only grow as our digital lives get bigger every day and the more we are connected to internet.

About Saroj Kar

Saroj is a Staff Writer at SiliconANGLE covering DevOps, social, mobile and gaming news. If you have a story idea or tip, send it to @SiliconAngle on Twitter.