Sony originally updated its TOS and emailed PlayStation Network users about it on October 15, but it's taken a few days for the true import of the changes to be noticed. While many of the changes have apparently been implemented to relieve Sony of all obligation to provide refunds in the event of price reductions or account cancellations, a "Big Brother" clause in the contract is the real cause for concern.
From the new TOS:
That's not all: By agreeing to the terms, users also give Sony blanket consent to share personal information it collects with unnamed "third parties." Not comfortable with that? Pack up your stuff and go home.
Third parties, including publishers may administer access to some content, including delivery, gameplay or customer service. To enable third parties to provide such access to you, we must provide them with your personal information. If you do not consent to allow us to share your personal information with third parties for the purpose of providing you with access to PSN content, you will not be able to participate in PSN.
Obviously Sony isn't going to be recording every little thing you say and do on PSN and making bi-weekly reports to the Stasi - but it could if it wanted to. More to the point, however, is Sony's claim to the right to do whatever the hell it pleases with regard to your online activities, without even having to give you a heads-up first.
Maybe it's time we all started paying a little more attention to these EULAs?