Your new PlayStation 4 won’t spy on you — but the PlayStation Network will
If you stood in line to get your PlayStation 4 over the past launch day weekend, chances are you didn’t take time to read through the privacy agreement you have to “accept” before you can get to your game — but you might want to.
The week before the system’s million-console launch sales day on Nov. 16, Sony updated the PS4’s Software Usage Terms, in particular Section 14, “Are We Monitoring PSN?”
Much of the agreement details privacy you’ve surrendered since you first offed your best friend in Halo online — real name, online ID, IP address, etc. — but the new bits about text and voice communication, video of your gameplay, and the time and location of your activities weren’t standard in Master Chief’s early days.
“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,” the section reads. “This information may be passed to the police or other appropriate authorities. By accepting these Software Usage Terms, you expressly consent to this.”
If you plan to pick up the PlayStation Camera for another $59.99, everything you do on it is subject to the same agreement, including using your social media accounts via The PlayRoom suite, which comes pre-installed on the system.
In order to use PlayRoom, you have to attach the camera, so unlike the Xbox One, which uses a real-time camera to watch your actions for commands at all times, the PlayStation Camera is technically optional.
Though Sony can’t visually spy on you by default, if you want to maximize the system’s online and social features, you’ll have to pick up the camera eventually.
Either way, PlayStation Network will be watching — closely.