PlayStation is aiming to alleviate privacy concerns from its players. This comes following a notification about a new update coming to the game maker’s Party chat feature on its PS5 consoles.
A notification titled “About Party Safety” popped up on players’ consoles after the release of the PS4’s 8.00 software update on Wednesday.
PS5 users were warned that they will be able to communicate across gaming consoles with PS4 users. They will also have the ability to record voice chats within parties.
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“Please be aware that voice chats in parties may be recorded and sent to us by other users,” the note reads. “By participating in voice chats, you agree to your voice being recorded.”
A Cause for Concern?
Gamers on social media reacted negatively, saying it is an “invasion of privacy.”
“For some people Parties are an escape, a place for them to speak to their mates and somewhere to possibly open up about their personal issues with their mates. but of course we’re now being monitored. nice one @PlayStation! #PS4UPDATE,” one user tweeted.
PlayStation put out an apology statement immediately and clarified the feature.
“PlayStation gamers learned about this new function in an unexpected way following the recent PS4 8.00 system update,” Catherine Jensen, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s vice president for global consumer experience, said in a blog post. “We didn’t clearly communicate this feature or explain why we were introducing it, and we apologize for that.”
“When the PS5 console launches in November, PS5 users will be able to chat with PS4 users — which is why we needed to include an advisory with the latest PS4 system update,” Jensen then added.
Players who decide to file a harassment report will be able to “include an up to 40 second-long Voice Chat clip,” she clarified. This “includes 20 seconds of the main conversation with other players and an additional 10 seconds before and after the conversation selection,” Fox Business reported.
“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,” Jensen said.