Recently Sony shut down it’s Playstation Network due to an intrusion into it’s customers’ personal information. Names, addresses even credit cards were taken. With 75 million+ PSN users affected, it is one of the largest breaches of confidential user information in history. As Chris Berry said to me, this is the Fukushima of Privacy.
Both involve Japanese companies, both were arguably preventable and both events suffered from poor communication to those affected.
Most users, like myself, do not pay to play on the PSN however now many games come with downloaded content online which require a credit card to purchase. The PlayStation Network is free as part of whatever game was purchased plus the cost of the console when originally purchased. They do offer a premium service however for those who are actively into multi-player gaming. To further ad insult to injury, the break in happened at a time when 3 major games came out Portal2, Mortal Kombat and SOCOM4 all of which include online play.
Sony was blasted online for the length of time it took to notify it’s users and that to date it has not apologized for the massive breach of trust. Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen wrote, ”What is more troubling is Sony’s apparent failure to promptly and adequately notify affected individuals of this large-scale breach.”
Kazuo Hirai, executive deputy president of Sony Corporation, said: “We have learned lessons along the way about the valued relationship with our consumers, and to that end, we will be launching a customer appreciation programme for registered consumers as a way of expressing our gratitude for their loyalty during this network downtime, as we work even harder to restore and regain their trust in us and our services.” Funny, I don’t see the words apologize or sorry in there anywhere.
Seems they might have the same lesson to learn as TEPCO. Now Rothken law firm has filed suit in a California court, claiming that Sony mismanaged user data and that the sensitive information was not adequately protected. Well duh! However like Fukushima I fail to see how suing does anything but make the lawyers wealthy.
The good news is the FBI is involved and so far none of the banks have reported any suspicious activity on users accounts. The bad news is that over 2 million credit cards numbers have gone up for sale after the hack.
Sony has announced the PSN will be back online later this week, but who knows if gamers will return or not; speculations abound. I suppose one more thing the PSN security breach has in common with Fukushima is we will need to wait to see what the full extent of the damage is.