No, PlayStation Aren’t Recording Your Awful PS4 and PS5 Voice Chats

When the PS5 launches, other users may record and send voice chat recordings to PlayStation for moderation though.

Yesterday, a new software update for the PS4 became available, bringing the software to version 8.00 and getting PS5 ready. But after downloading the update, players started airing concerns about a new prompt. These concerns were due to notifications stating that voice chats may be recorded, with users assuming it meant PlayStation was recording them and by simply participating in a voice chat players’ consent to being recorded. It turns out that this isn’t entirely the case.

The 8.00 update saw changes to the Party and Messages features, stating that you’ll be able to start a “Party chat or send a message to the group you’ve previously chatted with across PS4, as well as PS5 when it launches.” However, two types of on-screen notifications seemed to spark concerns that Sony Interactive Entertainment would be recording voice chats for moderation purposes all the time.

One notification seems to be in a small popup that reads, “Voice chats may be recorded for moderation. By joining, you agree to being recorded.” Another was a full-screen wall of text that notes that “by participating in voice chats, you agree to your voice being recorded.” and that those recordings “will be used only for safety and moderation purposes,” and may be “recorded and sent to us by other users.”

PS4 8.00 update

With concerns about privacy, Sony updated its blog post to clarify what this means. It details that “Voice chat recording for moderation is a feature that will be available on PS5 when it launches,” and when it does go live, it’ll let “users to record their voice chats on PS5 and submit them for moderation review.”

Those seeing the pop-up notification on PS4 consoles are actually being told that “when you participate in a chat with a PS5 user (post-launch), they may submit those recordings from their PS5 console to SIE.”

So for those who may have been under the impression that Sony Interactive Entertainment would be recording their voice chats all the time, that’s not what’s happening. The PS5 is due to be launching next month on November 12, 2020.

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