The recent PlayStation 4 firmware update caused a commotion when it included language which seemed to imply that Sony is recording parties. As a result, players are wondering why PlayStation is recording parties to begin with, citing concerns over privacy rights. However, the truth of the matter is mixed up in the details. This is particularly the case when it comes to who can record parties to begin with.
Why is PlayStation recording parties?
Sony has stated that PlayStation parties can be recorded for safety and moderation purposes. Those recordings can be submitted to Sony, who would use them to ensure players are adhering to the Community Code of Conduct. Reported violations of the code can be checked against submitted recordings to verify that action needs to be taken.
This information first came to light with the release of PS4 firmware update version 8.00. Of course, there are some stipulations on which parties are recorded and when. The new rules specifically apply to PlayStation 5 parties, but will affect PS4 users who join parties with PS5 users.
With that said, party recording isn’t automated, nor does it appear to be actively done by Sony. Instead, according to a statement provided to PushSquare, party recording is an option available to PlayStation 5 users themselves:
“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.”
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 company goes on to say that the message offered in the PS4 firmware update 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 [Sony Interactive Entertainment].”
In other words, Sony isn’t listening to or recording party chats. Instead, the company has provided a way for PS5 users to record parties. If those users feel that the Community Code of Conduct has been violated, they can then submit their recording for review.