The amount of data Sony keeps about your PlayStation activity is insane! –

Some PlayStation users have asked Sony to send them their personal data, and the results are pretty shocking. Twitter user @AlexCheer1 find out That Sony had records of him running Adrenaline PSP Custom Firmware on his PS Vita, for example.

Sony knows you’ve been running hacks

AlexCheer1 shared some screenshots of what his data looks like (screenshots below). It has been discovered that Sony knows, among other things:

  1. What consoles / portable consoles do you connect to your console
  2. What games do you play online, and whether it’s F2P / Free Weekend or on PS Plus
  3. Which parts of the system menu did you browse?

Their systems also log every type of game you play, even offline (data is sent the next time you go online), and even if these are home games. As such, it’s not entirely surprising, but interesting, to see that they know he uses adrenaline (otherwise known as PSPEMUCFW).

Moreover, they keep a long history of all this data. In the package sent to AlexCheer1, its entire history has been preserved to 2012!

There’s nothing really surprising there, but it’s funny to see PlayStation know about using the hack, and in general it’s a massive amount of data.

What is Sony recording about you?

It probably won’t come as a surprise to most people who follow this blog, but Sony monitors a lot of information when using a PlayStation console, and in particular when connected to the PlayStation Network.

In theory, this type of information is aggregated and in most cases internally anonymized before it is used to monitor various metrics (whether for marketing, legal or engineering purposes). On an individual level, data is also collected for some legal reasons, as stated in the PlayStation Terms and Conditions.

Although the terms may vary depending on your country, all versions of the PSN rules we checked have a different look. “We are not responsible for recording or monitoring any activity on the PSN, although we may do so in order to investigate or enforce violations of this Agreement, or to protect the rights and property of SIE, its partners and customers.”

For more details on what is being recorded, one has to go to the PlayStation legal page, select their country, and head to privacy policy page. (Examples: for Europe and the United States)

There, you can see a laundry list of what’s being collected: your name, username, address, payment methods of course, as well as content that is stored in their databases such as purchases, voice messages, chat content, posts and more generally any user-generated content stored at their end.

The Metrics and Monitoring part (“We may also automatically or passively collect information about your use of our Services”) is where it gets interesting. They say:

Each time you use a PlayStation console or PlayStation app on a PlayStation console or other devices (such as a mobile phone or PC), we may automatically collect information about your use of that device and app. If you are logged into an account, we may combine it with other information we have for that account.

Follows a list of the type of things that are being recorded (confirmed to us). We only reproduce a few of them, you will have to check the official document for the whole list.

  • Device identifiers such as PlayStation console ID, mobile device IDs, cookie IDs, or serial numbers
  • Network identifiers such as IP address and MAC address
  • Account authentication codes that avoid having to log in frequently
  • Content and ads downloaded to your device for online services you access
  • Your current and recent locations (eg on PS Vita)
  • Awards, results and rankings achieved online and offline
  • Information about the device you are using and any connected peripherals (eg controllers, VR headsets) and how you configure them
  • information about How you use the software installed on your device (which may include information about using the software offline), such as the date and time of use, the games or music you play, the content you browse, share or download, what services you access and for how longincluding how often you use chat and other communication apps
  • Actions you take within games or applications published by SIE (eg what obstacle you jump over and what levels you reach)
  • Software errors and load times detailsand if the “Automatically report system software errors” setting is on, Detailed information about the crash, including screenshots and videos taken before the crash

Again, it has been known for a while by hackers that Sony monitors a lot of information and may have used such telemetry in the past to fix vulnerabilities while working on it. This is why most hackers looking for vulnerabilities always make sure that they block some specific network connections for their devices (for example, on PS5 we block specific IP addresses when running a kernel exploit).

How do I order my PlayStation data from Sony?

If you’re interested in knowing what PlayStation knows about you and your activity, follow the instructions below.

Whether or not you can ask Sony to send your PlayStation data depends on the country you live in. In general, check their privacy policy for details on that. In Europe, Australia or New Zealand, you can email [email protected] with the application (you will then need to be able to prove your identity, usually by submitting your PSN ID with some other form of identification). In the United States, you can follow the instructions on this form or use the phone number provided.

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