Sony settles PSN hack lawsuit for $15 million

Summary:The tech giant plans to offer restitution for those affected by the 2011 PSN hack in free games, subsidies and cash payouts.

sony578
Credit: Sony

Sony has agreed to a preliminary settlement worth $15 million in a class action lawsuit over a data breach in 2011 which resulted in 77 million user accounts on the PSN network being compromised.

The tech giant's PlayStation Network (PSN) was hacked in April, 2011. Hacktivist collective Anonymous took responsibility for the data breach, which resulted in account names, birth dates, email addresses and a number of credit card numbers being placed at risk.

The network was offline for several weeks.

Last year, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office fined Sony £250,000 ($425,397) for the "serious breach of the Data Protection Act" due to the account information leak, and said it "could have been prevented."

Sony apologized for the breach with a "Welcome Back" package full of older, free games for PSN users, but this wasn't enough for some.

Following the security breach, 65 class action complaints were filed and later became a Consolidated Class Action Complaint (CAC) in the United States. As part of the $15 million settlement, those who did not participate in the Welcome Back scheme are entitled to one of 14 PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable games and three PS3 themes based on a list of six, or a three-month subscription to PlayStation Plus.

These claims are capped at a value of $6 million and will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Users of Sony's Qricity service are entitled to one month of Music Unlimited free, and in addition, SOE claimants are eligible to receive $4.50 worth of "station cash."

If users experienced identity theft as a result of the account theft and have documentation to prove it, they will be able to claim up to $2500.

However, the settlement only applies to PSN account holders living in the United States, and has not yet been approved by a judge. A decision is expected on 1 May 2015.

The full settlement document is below.

Topics: Security, Legal

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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