Sony Can Access Your Device Even When You Aren’t Signed In To PSN. Is It Legal?


Technology is cool

99 Responses

  1. dragng8 says:

    This article is worthy! Sony is announcing a black/white thermal color changing vita!‎

  2. codestation says:

    I feel that this article is overreacting over LiveArea updates. The updates for the Store and Videos screens are updated regularly to show new stuff and i fail to see why the login status is relevant for that stuff appearing on these screens.

  3. Yifan Lu says:

    I’m sorry, but this is stupid. App updates are not a violation of privacy and if you’re that paranoid, just disable wifi. There is no evidence that any personal data is sent TO Sony only that they’ve downloaded some xml data from their server to show you ads for new games on livearea.

  4. RandQalan says:

    Come on we know it pushes stuff to S
    and if you have a cell phone most if not all now days do the same thing 😆

    Now in most cases that is nothing but if you do something they really do not like they probably have flags to detect illegal activity like CFW and on cells phones like free service

    When you can be tracked now days with most devices not all that unusual really out of any company

  5. Wow says:

    Okay, you seem more than a little paranoid. I think that the Vita just reads the PSN rather than have updates pushed to it, thus not requiring you to be signed in.

  6. AsDraS says:

    I don’t think that it’s sony who is connecting.. i think it’s your vita on its own to download the newest offers available in the store

  7. OR says:

    I’m more concerned with governments spying on their people than Sony.

  8. Steph says:

    Wololo i believe i pointed this out to you quite a while ago when i said i’d leave my vita charging, in aeroplane mode and would often come back to it in the morning to find that the livearea had been refreshed, with updated pictures etc etc. For it to have gotten them, it would have had to have connected to wifi and requested it.

    you all should be concerned by this – it means that sony can kill your accounts should they not like you even tho you are not connected, and in aeroplane mode. Because even tho you have wifi disabled, the device will ignore it, connect to wifi and talk to sony regardless.

    • bob says:

      As the saying goes, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

      The simple solution to LiveArea updates being retrieved even in airplane mode would be to delete all wifi settings / power off your wireless access point while the Vita is not in use. Practical? No, but no connection to make = no way for Sony to access your device.

      I agree that such concerns shouldn’t be necessary – if airplane mode is enabled, that should disable *all* wireless activity – but as yet, Sony doesn’t want it to be that way. Fortunately, it’s minimally invasive at best.

    • Mark says:

      Please get facts straight before posting them.

      Liveareas are not limited to online refreshes.

      This article is disappointing.

    • crimsonraven009 says:

      You do realises the original Xbox people got there accounts “killed” Any company can kill your account when they want, that’s what we call banned accounts, yes a company would be all like ooh we don’t like this guy for no reason ban him >·>

      It’s a feature in the device it’s self, like the ps3 n ps4, get over it people stop being so paranoid on every little thing

    • yes says:

      I think its possible that you didnt have the Vita in airplane-mode or it was a bug. I tried to put my Vita in airplane-mode last night, and nothing refreshed during the night. There is a small bug regarding this on the Vita i noticed. If you put it in airplane-mode, everything seems to work fine, but if you enable WiFi again, then it says that airplane-mode is still on, but thats not the case. This bug appears if you hold the PS-button down on the Vita and do the changes through that menu. I’m not sure if this bug appears if you do the changes through the Settings app instead.

  9. solidsnake says:

    This happened to me too but I never actually thought about it like this.
    This is why I always stick to using logic. If my wifi is turned off then I am safe.
    If it is turned on then I am not safe. This is all you can really do about anything. When you go outside, there are cameras everywhere watching everybody. Invest in an L.E.D. hat. Always go out at night. Never stay in the same location. Just keep moving, they are everywhere 😉

  10. SSJ-Vita says:

    I think the vita needs to be a trillion percent hacked, or a trillion percent abandoned, and bring on the next dual joystick toushscreen. I don’t think in light of this…that it can ever be slightly both, either all the way at this point…or fu&% off sony. When I bought my vita it was for infowar/ gaming purposes, this tells me that my ability to infowar on it can be compromised, I’m not okay with that. Liked this article and shared on fakebook. Keep up the good work you guys ,,,and thanks for making my handhelds super awesome retro devices : ) – INFOWeARechange/onymouS

  11. NakedFaerie says:

    You got it wrong.
    Its NOT your PSN account thats doing anything its your console itself.
    As you said its online overnight the console knows what version of each of your apps are. periodically it looks online to see if the same verison is there too, if there is an update then it updates.

    The PS3 has an option to turn on, check for updates and download updates then turn off again. The Vita also does but its for PS+ users but it still checks for Live Screen updates I think when its charging and asleep. Like standby mode, on charge after 30 mins of that or something similar.

    So it doesn’t matter if your signed on or not, your console checks itself if its online then checks the version numbers to see if anything is updated.
    BUT I think only PS+ users will get the full potential of this as it can check for game updates and update them automatically. All a normal user gets is the live screen updates. You have to check game updates manually.

    • gta_master says:

      Sir, you have truly read my thoughts exactly. That is why I think this article was a complete waste. Just turn off the automatic check for updates to the applications. When the “LiveArea Screen” is refreshed, it doesn’t sign in to your PSN account , it just “access’s” your ps vita, if you will, and checks what applications need updating.

  12. dalton says:

    Yeah this happens with my ps3 and trophies!

    It posted on my facebook that I got a trophie on Lightning Returns when I was work!
    My girlfriend freaked out lol I had to send her snap chats to convince her i was actually at work.

    But isn’t auto update as part of PS+ have them accessing your device when you’re signed out? When you’re PS3 is in stand by, you’re signed out, right?

  13. ivo says:

    automatic system user logon + automatic update = ps plus update service

  14. Ninjakakashi says:

    I’m sorry but this for me is a dumb article, because you didn’t research anything and 2nd reason if you have some dirt that is worth finding for security reasons then I don’t give a f*ck!!!

  15. GottZ says:

    doesn’t this belong into something like a forum? srsly.. try to use wireshark to see what is happening. you will notice that your psvita will request data over time no matter if you are signed in or not.

  16. You says:

    Internet only into your laptop at home via cable. I read some place the company sends a type of verification checker pulses whenever to make sure your setup is ok. God help if your add-on splitter is sending back unusual signals. TV also…? theft of services? Electo funk age.

  17. jake says:

    @Jay Doctor blur your image out a bit more with your ID name…

  18. Voltromik says:

    This post is dumb,, its the OS refreshing. They aren’t seeking thru your system? Cmon now,, its not worth it/.

  19. X says:

    Go get something with a real webcam PSN and twitch has to watch you in low rez at the moment.

  20. Patrick-The-Muthurfuckur-Star says:

    Time on screenshot is 3:33pm! Half-Life 3 confirmed!

  21. Pooptart says:


  22. Anon says:

    You’re still over thinking it.

    That particular screen update doesn’t mean you have app updates, or any alterations, it means that Sony has released new games to the store.

    You’re wiggling out because sony has put up a billboard on their store which your console is viewing.

    Sorry, but the sad truth, big brother isn’t watching you, big brother doesn’t even know, or care, who you are.

  23. me says:

    It isn’t that Sony have accessed your device in anyway, its the device phoning home looking for any updated information, and pulling it locally. You only have to have the device connected to the internet for this to happen as its only an xml sheet that’s being checked on a remote server which anyone with the right information could access and then any changes are being saved by your device.

    The PS3 exhibits this exact same behaviour with its XMB icons, you don’t have to be signed in for these changes to be made, as its the device itself that initiates the connection.

    Btw, you can stop this behaviour from happening, by disabling the automatic live area refresh in the system settings, meaning you remain in control of the devices connections at all times, and that there is absolutely no foul play on Sony’s part.

    However, there is likely hidden information (IE: A list of most recent gaming activity), being sent behind the scenes without any kind of notification going on, that you should be more concerned with, but this behaviour is covered by the EULA you agreed to in the PSN terms of service. The clause that covers data collection and its usage outlines this type of behaviour. And unless you’ve never signed into the PSN that is the only circumstance Sony aren’t allowed to collect this information, which is why its also mentioned in the system software updates you install after purchase, this way Sony has covered itself in any circumstance.

    Sony have no rights however to collect this information on a stock freshly purchased device that has never accepted a software update after being purchased or been connected by the current owner to the PSN. This would only stand up in court because at the point of sale you are not informed of the terms of the EULA, so don’t have an informed choice on wether you agree to the terms and conditions of usage rights attached to the purchase of the hardware or the system software contained within.