Sony won’t spy on gamer conversations, well not all the time

The PS5 will not eavesdrop on continuous player conversations, Sony promises. The new feature to record voice chats will in fact only be used when a user files an online harassment complaint with a moderator. We take stock.

In addition to the deployment of version 8.0 of the PlayStation 4 firmware, Sony unveiled a new moderation feature on the PS5. This feature allows the PS5 to record the voices of the players in order to denounce possible abuses. “This allows users to record their voice conversations on the PS5 for submission to moderators ” Sony explained then. A pop-up window will notify PS4 players who are in a conversation with a PS5 that their conversations are likely to be recorded and analyzed by a moderator.

In response to the outcry over the announcement, Sony quickly released additional information about how the voice chat recording works. “We haven’t clearly communicated this feature or explained why we introduced it, and we apologize” admits Catherine Jensen, Sony’s vice president for user experience, in a blog post.

Also read: Sony finally unveils the PS5 interface

The PS5 only records the last 5 minutes of your conversations

First, Sony confirms that the PS5 will record player voice chat conversations well. But your exchanges will not be automatically analyzed by Sony employees. A moderator will only consult the content of the conversation in the event of a complaint from one of the players. “This feature will not actively monitor or eavesdrop on your conversations, it is strictly for reporting online abuse or harassment.” reassures the manager.

In fact, the PS5 will not record all the conversations of gamers. Only a recording of the last 5 minutes will be stored on the console and will only be operated on charges of harassment. “If the PS5 player wants to file a harassment report, they can include up to 40 seconds of the voice chat clip in their report” explains Catherine Jensen.

Ultimately, if a player never files a harassment complaint against his interlocutor, the conversations will never be analyzed by Sony. However, part of the conversations will be recorded by the console. It is therefore not impossible that a security breach or hacking could lead to these exchanges leaking onto the web.

“There will be no option to turn off this voice chat recording feature, as we want all users to feel safe when playing with other people online” explains Catherine Jensen. Still, this listening feature may not appeal to gamers despite Sony’s apparent good intentions. What do you think of this novelty? Is Sony going too far to tackle online harassment? We await your opinion in the comments.

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