PS4 Terms of Service Notes Sony May Monitor Your Communications – Update

ps4 spying

Update

Eagle-eyed reader 6souls points out that item number seven on the terms of service prohibits users from reselling games they buy:

“You must not resell either Disc-based Software or Software Downloads, unless expressly authorised by us and, if the publisher is another company, additionally by the publisher.”

So…huh. That’s not so good. Can’t resell games? Didn’t we move past this after the Xbox One-splosion back in May? So when a gamer asked Sony worldwide president Shuhei Yoshida, the picture got somewhat murkier:

So we can resell them? Then what’s with these terms of service?

Chances are you’ll be able to take your junk to GameStop or Amazon or whatever whenever you like, just like you always could. I don’t foresee that stopping. But it seems like Sony’s looking to cover all kinds of bases with these terms of service…we’ll have to wait and see if either a) Sony changes the ToS, or b) if Sony actually takes action on these as they’re written.

We’ll update this story as it develops. Stay tuned…

Original Post

We’ve been giving Microsoft a lot of guff for the fact that the Kinect is basically an always-on microphone and video camera that you’re putting in your living room that will make it hella easy for the company to basically spy the crap out of you. With recent revelations regarding NSA surveillance in the United States, privacy concerns among consumers are higher than ever—but let’s not get on Microsoft alone, since Sony’s got more than enough capability to check out what you’re doing and saying with the PlayStation 4, too. At least, that’s according to the new console’s terms of service.

The ToS for the UK have been posted online, and—assuming they’re roughly the same for other territories—they’re pretty interesting. There’s a bit where it asks, FAQ style, if Sony will be “monitoring PSN.” Here’s the answer (emphasis mine, to draw your eye to the important bits):

“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.”

To summarize, they can monitor you to figure out if you’re being a dick to other players online, or to comply with the law. For instance, if you’re the kind of person who likes to try and seduce 12 year olds via your video game console’s online network, Sony might start recording your activities if they have reason to suspect you. It probably won’t happen, but it could. That said, they might also start monitoring you if you beat someone really bad at FIFA and that person reports you with or without good reason. So, in short, they can watch you.

It should also go without saying that by buying any kind of electronics and connecting to someone over an online network, you’re opening yourself up to being monitored by someone, somewhere, somehow. It sucks, but there you are: welcome to the modern age. At the very least, the PlayStation 4 will probably stop listening to you when you turn it off. The Xbox One? Not so much.

But TitanFall does look cool as hell.

[Polygon via Sony]

  1. What’s that? Microsoft was hammered for privacy issues, but Sony outright claiming it has the right to invade it goes unheard? Hmm…

    • Apples and Oranges, there is no all seeing eye pointed at you at all times, nor a constant on microphone, at least not by default.

      But, dick move nevertheless.

      • are you absolutely retarded you do know you can take the kinect off completely and throw in the closet, which as for the microphone on the sony DS4 does not have a off button or mute smart guy…

        -SDFkiller

      • Originally, the kinect had to be connected to the xbox one in order to use the system. That was changed after user backlash. Try to be less challenged and more informed when calling others “retarded”.

        http://us.ign.com/articles/2013/08/12/xbox-one-no-longer-requires-kinect-to-function

      • People like you still paranoid of the Kinect? You do know that every time you open your laptop and look at most monitors, there’s a camera right there, and you don’t question it. And you’ve been carrying a video camera with you 24/7 for the past decade (your phone), and people never question it. Now a game console with a voice command camera/ mic, and people get outraged. Now Sony does worse, but it’s no big deal.

  2. Man you people get butthurt way too easily, lemme break it down since you guys failed to see the point completely, when Microsoft said it was going to collect data (as Mugenite implied) people got furious because there was a constant robot monitoring you at all times, they later changed everything as it is now, and regardless of how Sony does it today, the worst they can data mine is your playing habits, all else is optional, the camera sensor is optional, voice chat is optional, texting is optional.

    Also, SDFkiller if you are going to start name calling like a child, at least understand what you are talking about, otherwise you look like a fool.

    • Just adding to Mark’s comment:
      It’s the digital age. I know there’s nothing we do that isn’t being recorded. Internet records, phone records, fingerprints, ID cards, Facebook… The whole Kinect and PS4 scare over privacy is a bit funny because people don’t see how open we all already are to the world. My problem was with the people that freaked out and create sh*t storm on the internet over Kinect, but didn’t make a peep when Sony more politely stated it could do the same thing. Again, it’s the digital age. Expect this transparency to keep growing as technology does. Just don’t turn into trolls until we get around to 1984. :)

      • Yeah but like I said, you can’t expect the same shitstorm because it’s 2 different scenarios, when MS announced it would data mine, Kinect not only was mandatory, no one knew if it could be even turned off, gotta remember that MS announced like if it was always on, now, months later we know that if can be turned off or even removed entirely from the console.

        Alas for the PS4, there is no obligation to use anything, it is the exact same case, but like I said, most people don’t even use Mics or the Eyetoy, worst case scenario they’ll get your gaming habits, so the reaction to the story is different because the proportion is different.

        By no means I’m defending Sony, like I said, It’s a dick move, specially 5 days from the console launch, at least MS had the balls to be forward about that from day one.

      • So we agree MS is the Giant Douche and Sony the Terd Sandwich?

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