Sony Responds to “Eavesdropping” Claims During Voice Chat

hanselthecaretaker

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In a new blog post published Friday, Catherine Jensen, Sony’s vice president of global consumer experience, admits the company “should have more clearly explained why this function was being rolled out.”

Jensen now confirms Sony will not be actively listening in on voice chats whatsoever when the feature launches with the PS5 next month. “Its sole purpose is to help in reporting of inappropriate behavior, including actions that violate our Community Code of Conduct,” she writes. “Please note that this feature will not actively monitor or listen in on your conversations – ever – and it’s strictly reserved for reporting online abuse or harassment.”

Instead, the company says the feature will record the past five minutes of any private voice chat on a rolling basis. That way, if a user encounters harassment or anything they feel violates Sony’s rules around player behavior, they can submit up to a 40-second clip for Sony’s moderation team to review. That will include 20 seconds of the potentially offending behavior as selected by the user, with 10 seconds before and 10 seconds after the selected segment for added context.



...So like many may have already suspected, basically it’ll work like the current gameplay recording feature, but only at a fraction of the timespan. Seems reasonable.
 

Samtemdo8

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My online gaming is limited to World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, Halo, Vermintide 2, and Card Games like MTG Arena and Hearthstone.

And all on PC.
 
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Dreiko

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So what I heard was that this was limited to party chat, does it affect all chat modes or just party chat?

Also they finally gave us an option to actually mute our mics, so if anyone is bothered by this they can toggle that on.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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So what I heard was that this was limited to party chat, does it affect all chat modes or just party chat?

Also they finally gave us an option to actually mute our mics, so if anyone is bothered by this they can toggle that on.

Safe to assume the recording parameters are for all types of online chat possible for the system.
 

sXeth

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So what I heard was that this was limited to party chat, does it affect all chat modes or just party chat?

Also they finally gave us an option to actually mute our mics, so if anyone is bothered by this they can toggle that on.

Uh, the only PSN chat is party chat.


Game-specific audio chat has been recordable forever already.
 

Dreiko

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Uh, the only PSN chat is party chat.


Game-specific audio chat has been recordable forever already.
Oh well then nothing changes lol. I thought this meant that chat happening in games you play through psn was what was being recorded. If it had always been then there's nothing significant here since I never use party chat and only use ingame chat.
 

sXeth

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Oh well then nothing changes lol. I thought this meant that chat happening in games you play through psn was what was being recorded. If it had always been then there's nothing significant here since I never use party chat and only use ingame chat.
yeah, in example,

Burger king ice crea,m blackout rant recorded in watchdogs.


Also anyone with a capture card setup of any kind, or even playing their speakers and recording with a phone could have recorded the party chat before, even if you toggled off "share my voice in recordings".


The announcement boils down to two main points, and is probably more related to some international privacy law or another then anything

1) Sony will act on recordings provided of chat interactions, using them as potential evidence for moderagtion.
2) They are expliciting informing you of the potential you are being recorded. Which is a common case if some sort of legal dispute comes about, you're supposed to be informed you're being recorded for the recording to be admsisible (Criminal cases running a bit different, because you typically waive numerous rights while activing committing a felony)


Streamlining the process for any user to do it an report (And not just those with capture cards or smart enough to workaround things) is more or less a PR nod to the concept of online safety..
 
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