Sony updated the PlayStation 4's Software Usage Terms
with statements suggesting the company may monitor PlayStation Network user voice and text communications, Polygon
"Your use of PSN and our community features may be recorded and collected by us or sent to us by other users as described in 13.1," the statement reads.
"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. This information may be passed to the police or other appropriate authorities. By accepting these Software Usage Terms, you expressly consent to this."
The referenced Section 13.1 of the PS4's Software Usage Terms specifically relates to "grief reporting mechanisms" and "in-game reporting tools," indicating that Sony's monitoring policies may be limited to instances of user-reported player abuse. Sony further notes that "we can't monitor all PSN activity and we make no commitment to do so."
Previously, the Xbox One's Kinect peripheral raised concerns over its potential for user surveillance, resulting in the German government classifying it as a "monitoring device
." Microsoft later clarified