Sony released a new software update numbered 8.00 and unlike many updates that don’t really change the user experience besides of course the general improvements and fixes they provide, this update brought quite a few changes along with it. One of those changes was that players were notified when they enter a party chat that they were being recorded. But, Sony has now definitively stated they do not record party chats, players themselves have the ability to record those chats and then send them in to for moderation and reporting once the PS5 roles around, as this will be a new feature on the console.
Sony updated its story about the new firmware offering this statement:
“Following this update, users are seeing a notification about Party Safety and that voice chats in parties may be recorded. Voice chat recording for moderation is a feature that will be available on PS5 when it launches, and will enable users to record their voice chats on PS5 and submit them for moderation review. The pop up you’re seeing on PS4 right now is to let you know that when you participate in a chat with a PS5 user (post-launch), they may submit those recordings from their PS5 console to SIE.”
The confusion began when players noticed a pop-up regarding party safety and that party chats may be recorded. This is true in that a player might choose to record a party chat, and its function is, in fact, to make other players aware if a PS5 user has joined the party and could possibly be recording the chat with an intention to then send it to Sony. Also included within the PS4 is the option to have the console not record your voice, and can be toggled on or off at will. This is a function that has been within the PS4 settings since the console launched in 2013 and can still be switched off today.
The Ask PlayStation UK Twitter account also replied to a worried user, reiterating Sony’s statement.
Hello! The notification advises you that other users may be recording your voice conversation. We do no record party chats. ^PS
— Ask PlayStation UK (@AskPS_UK) October 14, 2020
The PS5 releases on November 12, 2020, in the US and November 19, 2020, in the EU and UK.