Riot Games says it can record voice comms in VALORANT - Upcomer
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The developers of VALORANT have claimed the legal capacity to record and listen to voice communications, according to a new blog post by Riot Games.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include a statement from Riot Games regarding the issue of user data and the complience of the GDPR in Europe.

On Friday, Riot updated its privacy notice regarding voice communications in VALORANT, its first person shooter title. Under the new rule, Riot can listen and evaluate all communications made in a match where a report has been submitted. However, Riot has said it will not listen to live communications — just recordings from a previous match where a supposed verbal offense may have taken place.

Riot said it wants to eliminate “disruptive behavior” in the game by recording voice chat. If a report has been submitted, Riot will evaluate the voice communications made by the player and determine whether they deserve a punishment. Riot added it will discard the recording once it has been used.

“We’re updating our Privacy Notice to allow us to record and evaluate voice comms when a report for disruptive behavior is submitted, starting with VALORANT,” Riot wrote. “If a violation is detected, we’ll take action and remove the data when it is no longer needed for reviews.”

VALORANT is one of many titles under the Riot Games banner, but the company said it has no plans to record voice communications of other games like League of Legends or Teamfight Tactics.

“Even though the legal document update gives us the ability to capture voice data, League of Legends, Wild Rift and Teamfight Tactics currently have no plans to record player voice chat or expand the voice chat capabilities beyond party voice chat,” Riot wrote.

Riot feels it is within its jurisdiction to record voice communications since players communicate through “Riot-owned voice comms channels,” the company said. In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation law protects users from companies and other third parties from using personal data. Riot has said it abides by this law in a statement to Upcomer.

“GDPR and similar data privacy regulations have been a part of our planning since the beginning. We’ve worked with our privacy and compliance experts every step of the way including working with people with GDPR-specific expertise,” Riot said.

Regarding the issue of the protection of data collected by Riot, the company said “it’s the same as trusting any company with any data.”

“There are rights provided by GDPR, such as the right to review personal data. Once we are collecting audio data, the existing processes that players can use to request their personal data will also include voice data that we are storing (at the time the request is processed). If (after the system is implemented in your region) you’d like to check us on this, please do,” Riot said.

George is the lead reporter for Upcomer from the United Kingdom.