In a disturbing twist of events, it looks like the PlayStation 4 may in fact be recording and monitoring everything you do on the console. Gamers may remember how Microsoft had attempted this at one point with the Xbox One, with which many gamers cried foul due to privacy concerns.
The information, found in the PlayStation 4 Terms of Service, explicitly states that "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." The statement goes on to clarify just what the information will be used for:
"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."
What does 13.1 describe, exactly? In short, it describes that the information collected is limited to in-game reporting tools, which means the information Sony would collect would only be used if someone was reporting you.
For example, if you reported a user due to that user saying something that could be construed as illegal or offensive, Sony can parse the data and confirm the information for themselves. However, where many gamers are concerned is that for Sony to do this, it means the company is collecting and storing large amounts of what some may feel is private data; anything said or written on the PSN can come back to bite you, in other words.
While some gamers are irate at this news, the solution is simple: don't say or do anything on the PlayStation Network that you wouldn't say or do in the real world. While some gamers may feel their privacy is being violated, just practice common sense while online and you'll have nothing to worry about.
Can we trust that Sony will only use whatever information they record to enforce its Terms of Service? Probably about as much as we can trust any corporation to keep their word about anything. However, if this ends up making online gaming a better place by holding players accountable for their actions, is this possibly such a bad thing? Anyone who has played games online in the last decade know how foul a large portion of gamers are, and perhaps knowing that their actions are recorded will make them think twice about spouting off hateful and vile words.
What about you, PS4 Experts readers? Do you think it's okay that Sony monitors your PlayStation Network usage? Do you feel this is a violation of your privacy? Do you believe this act is better for the greater good?
Let us know in the comments!
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 11/14/2013