PS5 Does Not Record Your Voice Chats, Sony Confirms
Voice chats can be recorded by users who elect to do that, but Sony isn't listening in.
The recent 8.0.0 update for the PS4 introduced new functionality for voice chats in parties that will go live when the PS5 launches, and pop-ups alerted players can these chats "may be recorded." People naturally became concerned about this, and specifically regarding conspiracy theories about how Sony might be listening in.
That isn't the case, however. The Ask PlayStation UK account said on Twitter, "We do not record party chats."
Hello! The notification advises you that other users may be recording your voice conversation. We do no record party chats. ^PS— Ask PlayStation UK (@AskPS_UK) October 14, 2020
The purpose of the recording functionality is to give people the ability to record chats and submit them for a moderation review. The feature is only available on PS5, but the pop-up notification that is appearing now is alerting PS4 users that when they are in a chat with a PS5 player, those recordings can be sent to Sony for moderation review.
Here is Sony's full statement on the matter:
"Following this update, users are seeing a notification about Party Safety and that voice chats in parties may be recorded. Voice chat recording for moderation is a feature that will be available on PS5 when it launches, and will enable users to record their voice chats on PS5 and submit them for moderation review. The pop up you’re seeing on PS4 right now is to let you know that when you participate in a chat with a PS5 user (post-launch), they may submit those recordings from their PS5 console to SIE."
Microsoft also has the capability to listen in on Xbox party chart conversations, but the company says it only does this to improve its own voice recognition software.