Riot Games is taking action against players who negatively use voice chats. The company has updated the Terms of Service and Privacy Notice of Valorant since they will now be able to record any audio that is reported.
The recorded audio will be evaluated, but this is still currently undergoing development. In the official post, they stressed that they wanted to obtain the "absolute minimum" amount of data from players, data that will exclusively be used to evaluate behavior and erased after evaluation.
When explaining why they specifically wanted to tackle voice communications, their stand-point is the following:
"Disruptive behavior on voice [communications] is a huge pain point for a lot of players. And we believe one of the ways to combat it is by providing quick and accurate ways to report abuse or harassment so we know when to take action. We also need clear evidence to verify violations of behavioral policies before we take action and to help us share with players on why a particular behavior may have resulted in a penalty."
Despite being clear in that they will not be actively listening to the communication systems from players, nor will they ship data, the community seems to be torn after this announcement.
Some players commend the actions taken by Riot Games and believe this system will come in handy when reporting toxicity within the Valorant servers. Understandably, there are also players who are concerned about their privacy, even though the developers have said that the recordings will be erased after being evaluated. A Twitter user who goes by the handle @ThorGGtisme states, "I'm not a toxic player and I don't want my voice recorded. That's a ridiculous idea. Gonna need details cause I don't feel like having a game company being able to hear my private business with my friends."
Indeed, video games are a place where people connect more given the circumstances provided by the pandemic. This is why some players are concerned about details from their personal lives being recorded, something which Valorant developers will not do.
In the blog, they explain, "We won’t actively monitor your live game comms. We’ll only potentially listen to and review voice logs when disruptive voice behavior is reported."
Here is the full update regarding voice evaluation, new Terms of Service, and updated Privacy Notice. Rather than focusing on the main bullet points, it is best to analyze the entire document. Again, they claim they will erase data post-report (and that is if you are reported, therefore if you are not a toxic player, there really is not much to be worried about) and they will not "actively monitor" your communications.