PSN: We Reserve the Right to Monitor and Record Your PSN Activity

November 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

CVG has unearthed an interesting part of the PlayStation Network's Software Usage Terms that the company reserves the right to conduct surveillance on certain activity on PSN including text or voice communication, or user-generated media (UGM) where they feel it's necessary.

Under a section entitled "Are we monitoring PSN?," the company also assures users that while it can do these things, they "can't monitor all PSN activity." But the stuff that they do record expressly may be shared with the police or other authorities. You can check out the section below:

Are we monitoring PSN?
Yes but we can't monitor all PSN activity and we make no commitment to do so. However, we reserve the right in our sole discretion to monitor and record any or all of your PSN activity and to remove any of your UGM at our sole discretion, without further notice to you.

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.

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.

Sony's Software Usage Terms also force consumers to accept that all software is licensed and not sold, and that players "must not resell either disc-based software or software downloads, unless expressly authorized by Sony". Of course this may run afoul of European law which says that digital games can be resold...

Source: CVG


Comments

Re: PSN: We Reserve the Right to Monitor and Record Your PSN ...

The monitoring to me is mostly a non-issue, I'm surprised it wasn't already done and already covered in the EULA. As far as listening goes, the dealing with stuff on *other* services that they had mentioned (banning someone for tweets) goes too far.

The "you can't sell disks" is the bit I didn't expect.

 

Re: PSN: We Reserve the Right to Monitor and Record Your PSN ...

It's not enforceable in most places, I believe. In the US, there's the whole "right of first sale" doctrine which allows purchasers to resell items. Since the PS4 doesn't require online activation of games to play them, there's no way for Sony to prevent discs being transferred between people (they advertised that you can share, and if you can share, you can ask money for it before giving it). So don't worry about the used games market being hit; laws override contract clauses.

Re: PSN: We Reserve the Right to Monitor and Record Your PSN ...

Well, when you trade a game in you are getting some of value for it so...

Re: PSN: We Reserve the Right to Monitor and Record Your PSN ...

Contract law is pretty broad when it comes to things you can agree to, and you can sign away quite a few rights. As for Sony they said they will not try to restrict use game sales, but that does not apply to third party games.

Re: PSN: We Reserve the Right to Monitor and Record Your PSN ...

Sony says one things, put another in the EULA.

The legal document wins over whatever platitudes they announce. You don't plan on restricting used sales? Then take it out of the EULA.

 

Re: PSN: We Reserve the Right to Monitor and Record Your PSN ...

Don't buy it then, it's stupid to pre-order consoles anyway. If Sony lied and starts trying to stop people selling their game discs after their show at E3 the backlash is going to hurt big time.

Re: PSN: We Reserve the Right to Monitor and Record Your PSN ...

Isn't this something that could potentially bite them?  They are offering communication services over a 'private' network, regardless of what the ToU/ToS say aren't they still subject to federal wiretapping policies? If not I think this is something Watchdogs like ECA should lobby for protection of consumers in, and/or challenge it in court.

EDIT: I guess this doesn't affect them as they are basically explicitly stating they are a listener party in the communications.

Re: PSN: We Reserve the Right to Monitor and Record Your PSN ...

Their server, their rules. They're not classified as a common carrier, so they can do what they want.

 

Re: PSN: We Reserve the Right to Monitor and Record Your PSN ...

Are people really upset over this? PSN isn't the only organization that can/do this stuff. Steam, Youtube/Google, Facebook, just about every forum software (though that is more on the site host than the people who made the forum software), twitter, etc. It's nothing new, you're using their services, and anything that goes through their servers, get tracked or monitored in at least some fashion.

 

Also is it all that big of a deal if the information gets shared with the police? Assuming of course that a warrant is involved. (Warrantless is a different matter)

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Re: PSN: We Reserve the Right to Monitor and Record Your PSN ...

With the exception of Steam (for the most part) everything you just mentioned are public social media services.  It doesn't mean much to say "we reserve the right to watch and share your YouTube video that you've already shared with the whole world."

What people don't like the idea of is having their private conversations and/or video from the Playstation Eye being monitored, recorded, or distributed.  Kind of like telephone services.  Yes, I'm using Time Warner's service but I still expect my conversations with my dear old mom to be private and respected.

To me, the bigger eyebrow raiser is that I need express permission to sell a physical copy of a game I own to someone else.  For one, I should legally be able to do that.  For two, Sony's been touting that we could since it announced the PS4.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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