Sony may "monitor and record" all PSN activity on PlayStation 4

Updated Software Usage Terms say PlayStation maker can collect voice and text data to enforce Terms and to comply with law.

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.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

1428 comments
Jeff Shoup
Jeff Shoup

Lol you meant sony isn't the only Villain and hope they do the same on xbox cause I am done with all the little kids that should not be mixed with adults!

Jeff Shoup
Jeff Shoup

About time I just wish xbox would do the same and get these low life's that are ruining the gaming experience and keep them off gaming for good!

theKSMM
theKSMM

I wonder if all the PlayStation fans in these comments still think those NSA jokes are funny now.  Ha ha.

And frankly, if Sony has had these "rights" to restrict the resale of games, why are they just now piping up about it?  That's what concerns me.

It would be like your girlfriend just randomly saying one day "You know that the lease is in my name, right?"

Jeffrey Forder Jr.
Jeffrey Forder Jr.

I'm not even a fanboy. I have an Xbox 360 which I love a little more than my PS3. I also have some Nintendo consoles. I have preferences. I prefer the Xbox over the PS3 right now. So how about you shut up and stop assuming stuff.

Chino Trolsmith
Chino Trolsmith

typical sony fan boy that now doesn't see a problem...

nate1222
nate1222

The man is watchin' y'all... They be watchin' y'all, goddamn it!

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Well good luck tracking that PS2 of mine that's never been connected to the internet... But in all seriousness, haven't they been doing this anyway?

philly215
philly215

i better see the same NSA jokes that were lobbed at the xbox kinect fuckin hypocrites

Sexycyber22
Sexycyber22

Well if it gets rid of abusive idiots while playing games and clamps down on cheaters and other dubious activities then I'm all for it tbh. If your acting like a human being and not doing anything inappropriate then there won't be any problems.

Henninger
Henninger

I don't have an issue with it except that if I want to use colorful language, they'll ban me for it? Isn't that a violation of 1st amendment rights? Isn't that called Freedom of speech? Try & ban someone for talking trash/shit. See if that will hold up in court. Now if they're hacking shit to infuence the game then yea, get them. But I shouldn't have to be babysat while playing the game. I say what I want to when I want to. If you want to monitor me blasting someone's face off than fine. But monitoring my activities on the store is bullshit. What are you checking for? To see if we put in a cheat code & get the game for free??? Oh yea, try & tell me I can't play your games after I bought it. I don't lease shit. My physical copy of the game I own. So eat shit Sony.

wizaard88
wizaard88

Don't you understand? It is a problem only when MS does it! How dare you say something like that about Sony!!

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

This does not add value to the customer.

MAL1C3_Inc
MAL1C3_Inc

WTF do I care? Don't be a deuche to other online gamers and you won't have anything to worry about. When some eight year old's mom tells sony that you called her child a colorful racial epitaph in a call of duty lobby, guess what, now they're probably going to have a recording of said mic chatter, and yer ass is getting permabanned, as you should be. That's what this is about. Not sony telling the NSA how you jerked it to your sisters WOW avitar.

moesuir
moesuir

WTF!!? Report your online activities to enforcement agents!! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha  Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I don't mind Sony's, or anybody's, keeping a record of my activities on their network. That's what I expect whenever I interact with another entity on any network. However, there should never be a situation where this kind of agreement leads to a situation where I log in to PSN to browse the PS Store for a game, and PSN instructs my console to upload a record of all my console activities since my last login to PSN.

There was a great deal of concern over whether EA's Origin was gearing up to monitor all EA's games as well as other information that may be related to an EA game in some way, whether or not a user gives explicit permission or even uses Origin for any relevant purpose. Any such development must be hounded and nipped in the bud.

Travis Hedspeth
Travis Hedspeth

LoL Xbox boys always looking to retaliate.. The kinect is what scares Sony fans not the fact that both companys have to watch its players for hacks n abuse

bigmikeOK
bigmikeOK

It's unfortunate Sony has taken this stance but I guess spying is the way of the world now. I expect Sony fans to stick up for them but I won't and I'm a PC gamer, I hate both consoles equally.

Lew Bricant Berl
Lew Bricant Berl

GameCube > ps4 At least it doesn't watch you masturbate...over zelda

Klikandclick
Klikandclick

eh, it's their system and they make the rules for it, don't go out of your way to be a dumbass and you'll have no problem

Matt Stitch Lewis
Matt Stitch Lewis

They're both games consoles, I enjoy a game myself but dudes, grow up.

DemocraticTroll
DemocraticTroll

F*** those idiots, both of them trying to spy on us?!...i got my PS4 5 days ago ( no, idk why i got it early) and imma destroy it now!...naaah who am i kidding, and are they like gonna ban me or something if they found out that i got my PS4 early?.

And those Xbots must be REALLY happy with this.

alkrmr18
alkrmr18

Gotta love how this is a pretty straightforward article on a touchy subject, but if this read MS instead of Sony the author would of tore it apart

iambateman
iambateman

I thought I owned a fair few games, but it turns out I only have the rights to use them :( 

Also laughing again at the silly fanboys on all sides below, that's the best thing about these sections, it's not the article but the comments coming up with conspiracy theories against Gamespot and the people defending consoles to the death and accusing other consoles of being near-satanic that makes these pages funny, like your own personal feedbackula, just have to imagine the guys using the accents for the comments now

jokertax
jokertax

commercials are not that big of deal, if you know how tro wrap it, look at facebook, and there as useful as long as they are not annoying, and always bring some type of benefit to watchers, better shows, free stuff, discounts, whats wrong with that, this way they bring you product that you "really need" on discount, again if they know how to wrap it.

Rui Esteves
Rui Esteves

no big deal Andy. Of course, they just want to know witch brand of chocolates you eat!

Rui Esteves
Rui Esteves

is obama already pursuiting terrorists on psn?

tightwad34
tightwad34

I just hope it helps to weed out the assholes. That's gotta be the best reason to do this, I would hope.

BradBurns
BradBurns

@JimmeyBurrows Yeah pretty much. But this applies to everything that's connected, if you're online and you're doing something, someone's tracking it somewhere.

ArataWata
ArataWata

@Luis Torres Get off Facebook.

DemocraticTroll
DemocraticTroll

@Danny_KickAzz @Klikandclick 

Sony= monitoring their system like your goddamn head master at school when he monitors everything .

MS = collecting your data to SELL it for ads and stuff...oh yeah watching you rubbing your belly as well.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@wizaard88 

Heh, Sony just happens to have better PR for now. This won't stay so indefinitely.

finalmessiah
finalmessiah

@DemocraticTroll Your'e right, Sony didn't come out and say that, they don't have to because all they need to do is put it in the small print which most people don't read. 

I am not saying that MS are any better because they are not, if the roles had been reversed back in April then MS would have acted the same way Sony are at the moment.

My advice would be, if you are that worried by it then don't connect your console or any machine to any network unless you can run it through a VPN. 

finalmessiah
finalmessiah

@DemocraticTroll

Of course Sony are going to use it for marketing purposes, their intentions are no different than any company, they all do it and have done it for a while now.