Sony Reserves Right to "Monitor and Record" PS4 User Communication

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Sony Reserves Right to "Monitor and Record" PS4 User Communication

PS4 with DualShock 4

Question: Is Sony monitoring PSN? Answer: Yes. Yes they are.

An updated version of Sony's Software Usage Terms for the PS4 stipulate that Sony may "monitor and record" communications between users made through PSN. The same section of the terms stipulates that Sony also reserves the right to remove any content from users' accounts without notice at their discretion. These rules apply to "voice and text communications," as well as streaming video made with the PS4 "share" button.

These powers give Sony the ability to "comply with the law," enforce their terms of service and "protect the personal safety of our employees and users," among other things.

"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 says it cannot monitor "all PSN activity," implying that, just because can listen in, doesn't mean they are every time you load your machine.

Source: Sony via Polygon

Permalink

I'll just leave this one for the sake of overreacting.

Honestly though I don't see this as a big deal. It's not new that companies use consumer data to target us and give us individual deals. We're being watched when we're online, our emails are watched, our browsing history, our text messages and our phone calls. Privacy is an illusion unless you avoid using phone or internet.

Yopaz:
snip

Honestly though I don't see this as a big deal. It's not new that companies use consumer data to target us and give us individual deals. We're being watched when we're online, our emails are watched, our browsing history, our text messages and our phone calls. Privacy is an illusion unless you avoid using phone or internet.

Yet when Microsoft did it everyone just shat all over them. Im with you, privacy is gone and no amount of asking will change it, people will just have to deal with it and not post their shit online if they want some semblence of privacy.

So long as they don't try to remove anything I paid for.
Things like console messages are not really private stuff anyway. For private communication you don't use internet or usual phone lines.

I gave shit to Microsoft about the kinect camera, so I'll throw a little at Sony as well. It's a bit shitty that companies and governments have the ability to say "well can monitor you and fuck you if you care".

In today's world though, everything you do tracked buying online, sites you visit, messages, emails, buying history, credit rating, cctv etc etc. So I'm not surprised really. It's not like they are going to store every persons communication for the next 8 or years, is it?

Seriously, monitoring text and voice comments? How do they even know the difference between friendly banter and actual threats? Oh well, i can see issues with this down the road. Thing for me is if the police need good reason to monitor you how can a company say we are monitoring everything you say or write otherwise you cant go online? Why does a console maker have that kind of power?

You know Sony, you're failing miserably at selling me on your console. In fact you're doing a wonderful job of ensuring I never buy one.

So I can't call Sony a money grabbing, soulless entity with a nicely painted smile to hide it's fangs dripping with the blood from foxxcon workers on psn then. Bugga.

Allegedly

One Guy: This is a disturbing development. Some of the communication options provided (like text and chat) are supposed to -feel- private at least, right? That they actually aren't seems dishonest.

Another Guy: I'm glad this is the case. People shouldn't feel like the PSN is a safe haven for coordinating illegal activities or just anonymously harassing people. If you're using the service to break (or try to break) the law, the service provider should have some built-in capability to track and report you.

Some Old Guy: People who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.

A Somewhat Younger Guy: Look, don't do wrong actions online, and you have nothing to worry about.

-----

I think that pretty much covers it.

--Morology!

Ugh, the closer Sony is to releasing this fucking thing the more they're squandering their goodwill.

Not that I really communicate with anyone on PSN, but this is yet again adding to the bullshit. Just imagine what the 9th generation (if there's even going to be one) will be like...

Honestly they make it seem like they will monitor you if you start doing something wrong. however it is still wrong that they have that ability and you wont know if they are watching you.

Pretty sure this violates a few wire-tapping laws.

josemlopes:
Yet when Microsoft did it everyone just shat all over them. Im with you, privacy is gone and no amount of asking will change it, people will just have to deal with it and not post their shit online if they want some semblence of privacy.

Microsoft is a little different. I don't mind if companies have the ability to monitor communications, it becomes really handy when making a case against someone who may be harassing you. In that instance, them monitoring communications is purely for my benefit. The forced camera, and talk of targeted advertising through recognized brands the Kinect could see is where I start to get uneasy. I'm not even wading into NSA conspiracy theory stuff here, the fact that Microsoft could monitor what I was doing outside of their ecosystem just seemed wrong. Not something I want to be a part of.

MinionJoe:
Pretty sure this violates a few wire-tapping laws.

It doesn't, you are using their network to send messages to other users on their network. They can monitor it all they want.

Church185:

MinionJoe:
Pretty sure this violates a few wire-tapping laws.

It doesn't, you are using their network to send messages to other users on their network. They can monitor it all they want.

Being an owner of the infrastructure does not give one free-reign to violate local, state, and national laws.

Case in point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepting_v._AT&T

Additionally, here's some information on the laws regarding the recording of audio and video:

http://www.rcfp.org/first-amendment-handbook/introduction-recording-state-hidden-camera-statutes

http://www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-and-information-technology/electronic-surveillance-laws.aspx

And cases where such laws have been used against citizens:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/12/police_fight_cellphone_recordings/

Microsoft and Sony: Privacy? What's that? Is it a synonym to spying?

josemlopes:

Yopaz:
snip

Honestly though I don't see this as a big deal. It's not new that companies use consumer data to target us and give us individual deals. We're being watched when we're online, our emails are watched, our browsing history, our text messages and our phone calls. Privacy is an illusion unless you avoid using phone or internet.

Yet when Microsoft did it everyone just shat all over them. Im with you, privacy is gone and no amount of asking will change it, people will just have to deal with it and not post their shit online if they want some semblence of privacy.

the problem we have with MS is that they were going to use the Kinect to directly spy on us for marketing research and targeting.

canadamus_prime:
You know Sony, you're failing miserably at selling me on your console. In fact you're doing a wonderful job of ensuring I never buy one.

then stop using the internet, or going on Escapist, because even escapist does the same thing, how do you think they ban people?

And the surveillance state keeps growing.

The thing that surprises me is how many gamers are like "Well yeah, this makes total sense" and "Of course they have the right to monitor and record you using their service". Five, ten years ago, this would have been a massive shitstorm and a massive PR disaster for Sony, but now it's the new norm. People expect huge corporations and government entities to not only have the right, but the obligation to monitor everything you do all the time, so it becomes accepted. It used to be you had to have a warrant, or at least some probable cause to wire-tap people, and infringe on the expectation of privacy they have in their own home. Now all you need is a TOS.

We're getting to a very scary point in this country (The US) and the world too, for that matter. Government and corporate surveillance is getting more intrusive and more sophisticated. There are already several police departments around the country trying to get their own UAV's. I really think, unless something changes, we're getting to the point where there will constantly be drones overhead watching us in real-life, and unblinking autonomous programs watching us constantly online for any potential, little violation.

But, then again, it's not like Sony customers could do actually anything about this if they wanted to, since Sony already added a clause to their TOS that prohibits its customers from filing class-action lawsuits against it.

Shrug. I'm US-based, so every single piece of communication I send out is monitored by some shady government agency in some way. So were I to get a PS4, it wouldn't be that much of a change.

MinionJoe:
Being an owner of the infrastructure does not give one free-reign to violate local, state, and national laws.

Case in point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepting_v._AT&T

Additionally, here's some information on the laws regarding the recording of audio and video:

http://www.rcfp.org/first-amendment-handbook/introduction-recording-state-hidden-camera-statutes

http://www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-and-information-technology/electronic-surveillance-laws.aspx

And cases where such laws have been used against citizens:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/12/police_fight_cellphone_recordings/

From the EULA:

"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."

Meaning you either agree to be monitored or you don't use their software. It's a contract that you agree to, meaning everything you posted above is irrelevant.

It's cool it's Sony these guys can do no wrong!....................right?

Church185:

Meaning you either agree to be monitored or you don't use their software. It's a contract that you agree to, meaning everything you posted above is irrelevant.

That does indeed help Sony circumvent even two-party permission for audio recording.

Excellent retort. I concede the point. :)

Church185:

From the EULA:

"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."

Meaning you either agree to be monitored or you don't use their software. It's a contract that you agree to, meaning everything you posted above is irrelevant.

Don't know what it's like in the states, but in Europe that thing has about as much legal weight as a dead snail IIRC.

MinionJoe:
That does indeed help Sony circumvent even two-party permission for audio recording.

Excellent retort. I concede the point. :)

Whether it is right for a company to do things like this is certainly up for debate, but I just wanted to make it known that what they are doing isn't illegal. Thank you for debating with me in a respectable manner.

Is it morally questionable? A lot of people think so.

Are they breaking any laws? No, not really.

Halyah:
Don't know what it's like in the states, but in Europe that thing has about as much legal weight as a dead snail IIRC.

Which is funny because that is from the EU's EULA. The NA EULA hasn't been officially released yet.

Church185:

Halyah:
Don't know what it's like in the states, but in Europe that thing has about as much legal weight as a dead snail IIRC.

Which is funny because that is from the EU's EULA. The NA EULA hasn't been officially released yet.

Why do they bother with it then? Why waste time on something that isn't even legal to begin with? I honestly don't get it.

Halyah:
Why do they bother with it then? Why waste time on something that isn't even legal to begin with? I honestly don't get it.

I'm not sure, but I think the portion of EULA's that EU courts ignore is everything about ownership. I remember there being a lot of talk about being able to return digital goods in the EU being a consumer rights victory (which I agree with, to an extent).

I'm no expert, but I don't think there is a precedent yet about agreeing to be monitored in a closed service, so that may still be allowed. Then again, Germany's initial reaction to the Xbox One may need to be taken into consideration...

That's just a guess on my part. *shrugs*

Sounds like a standard "we're not going to do this, but we reserve the right to if we do need to" clause. It would take so much manpower to actually monitor all of what's being said through. Presumably it's so that they can easily cut through red tape if they need to remove something against the law.

But yeah, take it into consideration.

Church185:

josemlopes:
Yet when Microsoft did it everyone just shat all over them. Im with you, privacy is gone and no amount of asking will change it, people will just have to deal with it and not post their shit online if they want some semblence of privacy.

Microsoft is a little different. I don't mind if companies have the ability to monitor communications, it becomes really handy when making a case against someone who may be harassing you. In that instance, them monitoring communications is purely for my benefit. The forced camera, and talk of targeted advertising through recognized brands the Kinect could see is where I start to get uneasy. I'm not even wading into NSA conspiracy theory stuff here, the fact that Microsoft could monitor what I was doing outside of their ecosystem just seemed wrong. Not something I want to be a part of.

So we've sunk so low as to say "Well I prefer this method of spying over this method of spying". Spying is spying. Microsoft can see what shirt you're wearing, Sony can see who your girlfriend is. Either way they both seem authoritarian to me. Both could be something out of 1984.

How about no spying?

Saucycarpdog:
So we've sunk so low as to say "Well I prefer this method of spying over this method of spying". Spying is spying. Microsoft can see what shirt you're wearing, Sony can see who your girlfriend is. Either way they both seem authoritarian to me. Both could be something out of 1984.

How about no spying?

How does knowing who I'm romantically involved with, or them knowing that I told my buddy GG after a BF4 match, benefit Sony in any way? I'm glad that they may have a record of someone harassing me on the service. Means that person might get banned that much faster, and the community might be a little more pleasant. I don't see any downside to this.

I don't think authoritarian means what you think it means...

Whilst I know this will rarely, if ever, be utilised I still find the very prospect of it being built in incredibly objectionable. It's like YouTube's genius idea to give big companies the ability to shut down videos with one click *cough Microsoft* except that this has the potential to be misused much more seriously.

This is once again much ado about nothing. Pretty much any online service these days will have similar understandings. This is part of their enforcement mechanism to stop things like cyber stalking and criminal activity over their networks. Things like "real world threats made over PSN will be handed off to appropriate police agencies." I don't think we have any reasonable expectation of total privacy of voice or text communication over a privately owned gaming network. The trick is that we have assurances that any such data will be used exclusively for TOS and law enforcement purposes, and not direct targeted marketing.

Isn't this the same as facebook or other messaging services recording conversations? I'm pretty sure this is SOP for messaging services that don't advertise on the basis of anonymity and "untraceable" conversations.

It's probably a security system put in place so they can actually catch bad people.

Actually most games with built in conversation record your conversations. Why? So we can ban them and find out if they're doing illicit things. This is nothing new at all.

This is hardly new. Even going back to the Billboard dial in days, or IRC networks, the server controllers have always been able to monitor stuff.

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