Time and again, Sony had to contend with hacker attacks in which credit card details and other information fell into the wrong hands. To ensure that your data is protected as well as possible, we have a few tips for you here and, above all, show what the PlayStation 4 knows about you.

PlayStation 4

Corporate privacy policies are not a one-way street. They not only regulate which data corporations like Sony collect from you, but also which rights of have to protect you. You can also control some privacy settings on your PlayStation 4 or 5 to protect yourself from other players and their access to your data.

Your data is a valuable asset. Therefore, you should pay attention to what you pass on and what you should leave out. When in doubt, less is more! Sony collects a lot of data that seems harmless at first glance. However, if other people have access to your data, for example through hacker attacks, things can look very different again.

Data collection by Sony: This data is collected by your PS4 / PS5 about you

Of course there is the obvious data Sony knows about you: As soon as you set up a PSN account, you already have to provide your name, date of birth, etc. In addition to this information, Sony then also knows your gender, your e-mail address, your country and your address – provided you provide this information.

You give this data to Sony

Data protection tip # 1: Never give your real name as a nickname. In addition, you should not choose a PSN name that allows conclusions to be drawn about your identity. Never give out your password or publish it anywhere.

Payment information can also be viewed by Sony. As soon as you top up credit, buy or update something, your PlayStation can find your billing address and payment details. But content is also saved. So if you upload pictures, videos or entries, they end up on Sony’s servers.

As soon as other applications get access to your data, you have to agree to this.
As soon as other applications get access to your data, you have to agree to this.

If you contact support, take part in beta tests or market research surveys, data is also collected here. Again, you should be careful what data you provide and how safe the environment is in which you disclose it.

Data protection tip # 2: Before personal data is passed on to other apps, you must agree to this. If you have not given permission, you may not be able to use the application, but it will also not be able to tap into your data.

Sony gets this data through applications, games and your console

In addition to the data you give Sony, your PS4 or PS5 can also collect some about you. Every device on which the PlayStation app is installed and every handheld from Sony can retrieve the following data and, under certain circumstances, send it to Sony:

  • IP address and other network data
  • last and current location of the device
  • Information about the device type, settings and error messages
  • Ranking lists, scores and trophies (also those that were scored offline)
  • Time and content of access to the PlayStation device or the app (e.g. at Spotify)
  • Model, device settings, serial number and further information about connected peripheral devices (zB PS VR)
  • Error in the software
  • Information and periods of loading times
  • Actions in a game or app (e.g. up to which point was played or which way you went in the game)

Sony uses so-called „Token“ on all devices so you don’t have to log in multiple times.

Have we forgotten one more thing? These are the best PS4 games ever:

Data protection tip # 3: You can limit this data collection in the privacy settings. However, all data that Sony has previously collected will not be deleted. This change only applies from the time you changed it and not retrospectively.

Sony also collects more information about how you use games, apps and other applications. The privacy policy on playstation.com says:

The data that we access and store from your devices includes, for example: Information about how you use the software installed on your device (including offline), such as the date and time of use, which games or music you play, which content you search for, share or download, which services you access and how how long, including how often, you use chat and other communication applications.

Sony can also track all of your behavior on the PSN servers. It’s not just about Sony being able to see your account ID and other login information. Content and advertisements that you look at and that are queried by the servers are also collected.

Data protection tip # 4: External users and Sony communicate with each other and exchange data. However, that only happens if you “Fraudulent or malicious acts” perform. In this case, the service or the external partner passes on data such as accounts or IP addresses.

Sony data usage: This is what Sony does with your data

Most of the data is used to carry out certain actions, such as buying a game. However, some data is bundled in order to then display personalized campaigns that may interest you. In other words: They are evaluated for advertising that is as tailored to you as possible. Your data will be used in these contexts:

  • To operate the PlayStation Network: So that you can manage your account and make purchases. But also so that fraud can be easily identified and combated.
  • Improve and develop products and services: Your data will also be used for developing new products and for troubleshooting. But also for balancing in-game content such as classes or boss fights. In addition, anonymous statistics are compiled and new hardware, games, apps, etc. are developed.
  • Ensure monitoring and security: Your online activities and communications via PSN will be monitored at Sony’s discretion so that content can be removed if in doubt. If you violate any guidelines or terms of use to which you have previously agreed, data such as the time of your activities will be used to collect arguments for action, which Sony then takes.
  • Audits and other financial purposes: So that Sony can meet regulations.
  • Make purchase recommendations and display advertisements: A lot of data is collected in order to show you personalized advertising. But also purchase offers in the shop are based on your activities. Personalized buy recommendations and advertising you can deactivate it in the settings.

Data protection tip # 5: If you do not allow Sony to save cookies, the offers you see in the store will no longer be personalized. Accordingly, it may happen that you are shown games that you have already purchased.

This is how you can view or block the data you have collected

The easiest way to see what you can do to limit data collection is to use your Privacy settings on the PlayStation. Just click on Account management in the Settings. Here you can now choose, for example, whether your real name should be displayed in the search or elsewhere. But also which profile visitors can see which content you are sharing.

Data protection tip # 6: Make sure to use the two-step verification to log into your accounts. This is currently the most secure method Sony offers to prevent hackers from gaining access to your account.

If you want to know exactly what data Sony collects from you, you can request a copy of your collection. But you can also send authorizations and blocks to the following addresses:

Per Post
Data Protection Officer
Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Limited
10 Great Marlborough Street
London
United Kingdom
W1F 7LP
By E-Mail
dpo@scee.net

Data protection tip # 7: If you have connected peripherals to your PS4 (i.e. PS VR or cameras), then as a precaution always unplug them after use. They should only be connected to the console when they are really needed.

For underage players, you can create accounts for them and set data protection aspects. Under the menu item Data collection / health & safety you can also choose which data the PS4 collects exactly.

However, if you want to close your PSN account entirely, you cannot delete it on your own. To do this, you have to contact PlayStation Help & Support. The team then arranges everything that is necessary.