Over the last two weeks, the gaming world has been questioning both Sony & Microsoft about their voice chat policies.
Both Playstation and Xbox players are concerned about their privacy when playing online games. If they really are listening, they’ve been invading our privacy for years.
So is Xbox recording party chat?
The simple answer is yes, both Microsoft & Sony have made claims and revealed to the public that they have in fact recorded or monitored community voice chat.
Sony Clarifies Their Voice Chat Policies
Sony revealed their intentions with this Tweet from October 14th.
The 8.0 software update prompted users with this unsettling message.
“Please be aware that voice chats in parties may be recorded and sent to us by other users.” “By participating in voice chats, you agree to your voice being recorded.”
Players immediately expressed their distrust with the company and asked them to clarify.
Sony put out an update 2 days later explaining the new policy. It let users know that they are not actively being recorded while playing.
VP of Consumer Experience Catherine Jenson had this to say.
“Only the most recent five minutes of a Voice Chat will be available for a player to use for this reporting function.” “These reports can be submitted directly through the PS5 console, and will be sent to our Consumer Experience team for moderation, who will then listen to the recording and take action, if needed.”Catherine Jensen – Sony
However players don’t seem to be convinced, and Sony admitted that the privacy rollout could have went smoother.
Xbox Users Are Also Expressing Privacy Concerns
Microsoft is also on the chopping block. They have been under scrutiny many times in the past for privacy concerns.
According to this article from VICE back in August of 2019, Microsoft has been monitoring users voices in their homes since 2014.
Microsoft contractors monitored voice chat and voice commands in certain situations. However, sometimes recordings would trigger and capture player audio in the home.
They’ve since reported to have stopped this practice. They initially used the monitored audio to improve their voice chat and recognition services.
So for the time being, no, our voices are not being actively monitored when playing online.
Either way, the news is a bit unsettling. Do we have to watch what we say in online parties going forward? Big brother is always watching.
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