Ahead of the PlayStation 4's launch this week, Sony has updated its Software Usage Terms (via Polygon) to explain that the company may "monitor and record" any or all PlayStation Network activity, including voice and text message data. The company can do so enforce the Terms and to comply with pertinent law, Sony said.
"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 [user-generated media] at our sole discretion, without further notice to you."
The Terms of Usage apply to all authorized PlayStation systems, including PlayStation 2, PSP, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PS4.
"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," the document goes on.
This information can be handed over to the police or other appropriate authorities, Sony said. Accepting the Software Usage Terms means users consent to this.
Though Sony may monitor and record PSN activity, the company said users should not worry about the company having a permanent and exhaustive record of their online actions.
"We can't monitor all PSN activity and we make no commitment to do so," Sony said.
The updated Terms of Usage also points out that all PlayStation software is "licensed, not sold," meaning players acquire rights to use software, but do not own said software. As such, players are not permitted to resell disc-based games or downloads, Sony said, unless Sony grants permission. This policy has been in place since the original PlayStation, though Sony has never blocked the sale of secondhand games.
Sony confirmed at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo in June that the secondhand market on PS4 will work just as it does currently on PS3. No restrictions for used games will be in place.
The PS4 launches this Friday, November 15 in North America.