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Sony Sued: First Lawsuit Of PSNgate Kicks Off

Matt Gardner
Hackers, Handbags, Lawsuits, News, PSN, PSNgate, Sony

Sony Sued: First Lawsuit Of PSNgate Kicks Off

Here it comes. The first lawsuit since Sony admitted that there'd been a security breach over the PSN has been filed on behalf of Kristopher Johns (38), a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

CNET reports that Johns is accusing Sony of not taking 'reasonable care to protect, encrypt, and secure the private and sensitive data of its users'. Furthermore, the complaint also encompasses accusations that Sony took far too long to notify customers of the breach and warn that personal information was at risk, alleging that Sony did not therefore allow customers 'to make an informed decision as to whether to change credit card numbers, close the exposed accounts, check their credit reports, or take other mitigating actions.'

Johns is requesting financial compensation and is also looking to upgrade the lawsuit to class-action status, a move that would allow any US PlayStation Network user to become a plaintiff in the case as well, if such status is granted.

The complaints echo those of Sen. Richard Blumenthal yesterday, in particular the request from Johns for free credit reporting services.

The 'reasonable care' part will no doubt be uncovered by an independent investigation, there is still no evidence suggesting fraud or misuse as yet, though the storing of some details as unencrypted text may well prove a sticking point. The communication issue, however, has been widely perceived as inexcusable, a view that will only be reinforced should any misuse come to light.

Add a comment3 comments
Gunn  Apr. 28, 2011 at 11:46

If someones identity or money has been stolen directly due to the PSN hack then I of course believe Sony should be responsible and pay up but I'm not sure how a lawsuit for money for this will help protect your data in the future, sure Sony should be penalised for breaking any sort of Data Protection but after this mess, I imagine PSN will be the safest place on Earth to store your personal details.

Jonathan Lester  Apr. 28, 2011 at 12:42

Sony will almost certainly be covered against civil suits and class action lawsuits - after all, their terms and conditions waive liability against theft or misuse of personal data as well as the legal right to deactivate PSN at a moment's notice. I'll be amazed if anything comes of it.

The I.C.O. investigation, however, will be a lot more interesting. If personal details have been inadequately encrypted (or stored as plain text), Sony could be in breaking British law. Watch this space.

DrTrouserPlank  Apr. 28, 2011 at 17:06

As much as companies like to write in waivers on theft or misuse of data it doesn't mean anything and doesn't supersede the laws of the land. Those being that any party in receipt of personal data is required by law to look after it in a secure and responsible manner. A text file is not a responsible manner. You can write any waivers you want into a contract, but it doesn't mean they are lawful and absolve you of any responsibility placed upon you by common UK law.

I don't think individuals need worry about getting any money that may go missing from their accounts back from Sony. The banks will refund fraudulent charges, but I don't doubt that the banks will go after Sony to get their money back if the report finds that Sony has basically broken the law with respect to it's duty to protect it's user's data.


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