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    Opinion at Forbes: Sony’s New PlayStation 4 and Your Privacy

    In an opinion column at Forbes, Larry Magid discusses Sony’s gaming system PlayStation 4, which has implications for children’s privacy, as well as the privacy of adults:

    As I watched Sony unveil the PlayStation 4 at a press conference on February 20th, I was struck by how much data the new device would be collecting from its users.

    “We’re changing the rule when it comes to social gaming,” said David Perry, the CEO of Gaikai, a cloud-based gaming company that Sony acquired last year. “What we’re creating,” said Perry, “is the fastest, most powerful network for gaming in the world.  The PlayStation network will get to know you (emphasis added) by understanding your personal preferences and the preferences of your community and turns this knowledge into useful information that will help to enhance the future game play so like when your friends purchase a new game you’ll know immediately so you can join into the action.” Perry also announced that Sony is adding connectivity to Facebook to further enhance what they know about players and their friends. […]

    It is important to remember that the user does have some control over what is captured and who it is shared with. It’s not yet clear to me how much information will be sent back to Sony’s network, but Sony has made it clear that users will have control over what they share.  But it wasn’t long ago that Sony’s Online Entertainment and PlayStation Networks were hacked, potentially compromising information from 93,000 accounts. […]

    As I pointed out in a recent post, online privacy and security is a shared responsibility and that we’re vulnerable to what networks do by mistake or a result of a hack, what they deliberately do to monetize our data and how we sometimes jeopardize our own privacy and security by what we share.  Gaming is no exception. Whether it’s the PlayStation 4 or connected use of the Xbox, the Wii or mobile and online games, we need to be careful and parents need to educate their children about privacy, safety and security.  Strong passwords, knowing who you’re interacting with and being discreet about what you do and say are paramount in the world of interactive gaming.

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