Warning: *privacy not included with this product


Wi-Fi Bluetooth

Review date: Nov. 9, 2022


Mozilla says

People voted: Somewhat creepy

Sony's PS5 has been around since 2020 and demand is still so high it's tough to buy one. The PS5 comes in both a regular edition with a disc drive and the cheaper digital edition without the drive. Beefed up power and high-quality graphical output make games like God of War Ragnarok, Horizon Forbidden West, and Marvel's Spiderman: Miles Morales, fast and beautiful. All that, and they aren't terrible at privacy either. Here's hoping you find one this year!

What could happen if something goes wrong?

Not gonna lie, this privacy researcher loves her PS5. I also recognize it collects and shares lots of information on me. Things like name, email, phone number, location, and lots and lots of device information and info on how much I game (not that much, really, I’m too busy reading privacy policies), when I game, how good I am at gaming (pretty terrible, actually). Sony knows what obstacles I jump in a game, what levels I reach, who I play against, how many times I die, and more. Am I worried Sony knows I’m terrible at racing games, while kinda obsessed with Kassandra from Assassins Creed Odyssey? No, not really. It’s not like this is super sensitive data like is shared with, say, mental health apps.

Sony does say in their privacy policy they can collect information from third parties and combine that with data they already have on you. Fortunately, they lay out who those third parties generally are and for what purposes, so that’s nice. We sure hope they aren’t collecting any data on you from data brokers. But they can collect data on you from others users you are linked to and from any social media you link, so be mindful of that.

Sony says they can use all the information they collect on you for things like targeted marketing and advertisements they show on their own and third-party websites and services. This isn’t great. It’s also not uncommon in our data economy right now. Also remember, when you play games from other companies on the platform, you may share your data with those third parties and their privacy policies would apply to your personal information. So many freakin’ privacy policies to just play games.

And Sony says they can share your information not just with third parties for advertising purposes, but also within the huge Sony Group -- which includes music, videos, software, and much more -- “so that other Sony group companies may contact you about products, services or other offerings that may be of interest to you.” So yeah, all that data about how bad you are at video games and who you like to play games with could be shared around pretty far and wide.

Also with the PS5, Sony now records all voice chats in order to combat abuse during online gaming. Users experiencing abuse can submit recordings--no more than 40 seconds--of abusive voice interactions to Sony for review. There will be no way to opt out of this. This tug-of-war between privacy and safety feels mostly fine to us, because something needs to be done about abuse in online gaming, especially abuse targeting women gamers. Just know, if you use the voice chat features on the new PS5 you are being recorded, although not actively listened to by Sony, at all times.

What’s the worst that could happen with your PS5? Well, it’s always smart to set up two-factor authentication to keep bad people from sneaking into your PlayStation account and buying a bunch of games at your expense. That could be costly and you don’t want that headache. And it’s good to be mindful all your voice chats are being recorded, so probably good to not shout out your social security number over voice chat (duh). All in all though, it seems from this gamer’s perspective the biggest privacy worry comes when non-male gamers try to talk over voice chat and get harassed out of the games by immature people. That really does need to stop.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Set up two-factor authenticaion on your Playstation account immediately
  • Be aware that anything said over microphone is being recorded
  • Do not sign up with third-party accounts. Better just log in with email and strong password.
  • Chose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc
  • Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless neccessary)
  • Keep your app regularly updated
  • Limit ad tracking via your device (eg on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization)
  • Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data.
  • When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data if possible.
  • Read Playstation's Safety Guide
  • mobile

Can it snoop on me? information


Device: No

App: Yes


Device: Yes

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: Yes

App: No

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

We ding this product as it can combine your data with data from other third-party sources and share data with third parties for targeted, interest based advertising.

"We may receive information, including the following, from third party sources and combine it with information we already directly collect from you. We will handle the information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

--Game, social media, or other information, from those third parties or services you link your Account with, or who provide information to power PlayStation Network features.
--Information from other users, for example if those users have given us access to their profiles and if you are one of their connections, or information about you is otherwise made accessible to us by them.
--Information from third-parties as appropriate given our relationship, for example from anti-fraud service providers we might obtain fraud risk scores; from law enforcement or partners, we might obtain IP addresses and details of suspected unlawful or malicious activity."

"We may target and personalize our marketing communications, purchase recommendations and advertisements that we display on our and third-party websites and services based on the information we have collected about you. You may notice this personalization on the PlayStation Store (whether via console, website or in-game), in marketing communications, or when you visit our and third-party websites (such as social network sites) that show purchase recommendations or advertisements from us. You have options to control our use of information we have collected about you to personalize marketing to you, and can learn more about them in the Choices section of this Privacy Policy."

"We may share information with the following partners ...
--Game publishers, such as the content you have purchased from PlayStation Store so that they can deliver that content to you in-game, and ensure your entitlement to access that content is reflected across different gaming platforms.
--Other service, application or website providers, for operational purposes, or for additional purposes, with your permission (such as when you link your Account to your account with them). ...
--Advertising and promotional partners, with whom we are jointly delivering services or features, such as sweepstakes, contests, promotions, or advertising.
--Sony Group, for purposes related to providing you with content, products, or services, including games, videos, music, software and software applications; community administration or development; to support various business and security processes; research and development; and so that other Sony group companies may contact you about products, services or other offerings that may be of interest to you.
--Business transfer partners, in connection with the negotiation and sale of the applicable business, a portion of the business, or certain stock and/or assets, or a corporate merger, consolidation, restructuring, or other corporate change including, without limitation, during the course of any due diligence process."

How can you control your data?

We ding this product as it is not clear if all users regardless of location can get their data deleted.

"In addition to the rights described below, you can also access, amend or delete some information through your Account Settings page.
Request to Access and Correct: You have the right to request that we inform you of the PI we hold about you, as well as to request the correction of any inaccurate information about you.
Right of Access: You have the right to request that we inform you of the PI we have collected, used and shared about you, and to obtain a copy of it.
Right of Deletion: You have the right to request that we delete the PI we have collected or retained about you in some circumstances as defined by law. To request removal of certain of your PI from a blog, forum, or message board, please contact us as described in the Contact Us section above. Following your request for deletion, please be aware that the information that we collect about you may still be retained for legal, accounting, business continuity (backup), anti-fraud and community reasons.

In some cases, your choices to provide, change or delete information may affect our ability to deliver our Services, or your user experience. We may decline to process requests which are not otherwise required by applicable law. You have the right not to be unlawfully discriminated against because you have exercised these rights.

To make a Request to Access or Deletion, please visit , or contact Consumer Services toll-free at 1-800-345-7669. After you submit a request, we will require you to confirm your request, and verify your identity by requesting details of your account, devices, payment instruments or past transactions. We reserve the right to deny your requests if we cannot verify your identity."

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?


Security vulnerabilities have been reported in the PS5 over the past couple of years. In 2021, Threatpost reported back-to-back security breaches. In 2022, Ars Technica reported on a potentially "essentially unpatchable" vulnerability and another hack that could unlock root privleges for PS5 hackers. As far as we can tell, none of these security vulnerabilities resulted in a major leak of users' personal information.

Child Privacy Information

"We are committed to respecting children's privacy. We will not collect PI from anyone we have actual knowledge is under the age of 13, without a parent's consent. If you are creating an account for your child, we recommend that you and your child read our Privacy Information for Young Players to help them understand how we handle their PI and their rights over their PI.

With parental consent, we will collect, use and share information collected from or about children in accordance with the practices described in this document, with the following exceptions."

A parent can control their child's ability to post or view user-generated content, including photos, videos, drawings, and content imported from outside sources (any of which might contain personal information) through the user-generated content control.

Can this product be used offline?


User-friendly privacy information?


Sony's PS5 privacy policy is relatively easy to find and read.

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information




Strong password


You need a strong password to access your PlayStation Network account. You can set up a passcode for your PlayStation device.

Security updates


Manages vulnerabilities


Privacy policy


Does the product use AI? information


Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Sony is planning to employ AI via its Sony AI arm.

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

Can’t Determine

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Can’t Determine

*privacy not included

Dive Deeper

  • New PS5 exploit unlocks root privileges, read/write memory access
    Ars Technica
  • Why You Probably Need To Change Your Privacy Settings On PS5
    Slash Gear
  • Console hacker reveals PS4/PS5 exploit that is “essentially unpatchable”
    Ars Technica
  • PS5 issues: All the big PlayStation 5 problems to look out for
    Tom's Guide
  • Critical Vulnerability In The Way Sony PS3, PS4, And PS5 Consoles Read Bu-Ray Discs Allows Rooting And Modifying The Firmware
    Information Security Newspaper
  • Back-to-Back PlayStation 5 Hacks Hit on the Same Day
    Threat Post
  • How to Manage PlayStation, Switch, and Xbox Privacy Settings
    New York Times
  • PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Security and Privacy Features Compared
  • PS5 games could get even better thanks to Sony AI
    Tom's Guide
  • PS5 won’t actively monitor or listen to your voice chat, Sony says
  • Sony clears up when and how it’ll listen to recordings of PS5 voice chats
    The Verge
  • Sony's AI-created PS5 soundtracks could react to your playstyle and emotions
  • Sony establishes AI R&D division
  • PlayStation Safety


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