May 6, 2011
In this blog post from Patrick Seybold of Sony it was confirmed that all North American Playstation Network users will receive complimentary enrolment in an identity theft protection programme administered by Debix, Inc.
All North American users are to receive an email with an activation code that they must use by 18th June 2011. This scheme is set to be rolled out to ALL PSN users in their separate geographic areas:
We are working to make similar programs available in other countries/territories where applicable. Information will be posted on local websites/blogs when available.
However, there seems to be quite a major caveat there: “where applicable”. Identity theft is a threat to ALL PSN users so what would be the criteria to eligible for identity theft protection? It’s no surprise that North America are first in line for the ‘complimentary’ identity theft protection. After all, the feeds from North America were the first to start mentioning the words “Sue” and “Class Action”. It is also more economically viable for Sony to offload the risk of underwriting millions of users against identity theft to a third party company than take the risk of dealing with potentially millions of lawsuits.
Sony is a business. This decision will have been a business decision based on projections relating to cost to settle versus cost to resolve. If the projections showed that settlement costs were to be less than the cost of resolving the issue then you can be sure that no identity theft insurance would have been offered.
This sort of decision making is standard practice in business. Sony will have received a discounted bulk price from Debix which would have further lowered their liability, making the pre-emptive action a sensible move.
So ‘where applicable’ would seem to indicate that all countries that have robust data protection laws and/or a propensity for taking legal action will receive the ‘complimentary’ identity theft protection. But what of those people who have still not received the communication from Sony telling them that their details have been stolen?
We’ve already seen that there is a vast difference between the UK and US notifications, some UK PSN users, including Playstation+ users have not received the notification, despite receiving every other communication from Sony regarding the service. There are reports of other users in Europe who have also not received any communication from Sony regarding the theft of their information. What of those people? Especially when the blog posts seems to indicate that users in other ‘applicable’ regions should keep an eye on the blogs for more information….
It’s a fairly poor show by Sony.
In other news, Patrick Seybold posted this blog post regarding getting PSN back online.
As previously mentioned, we’ve been working around the clock to rebuild the network and enhance protections of your personal data. It’s our top priority to ensure your data is safe when you begin using the services again.
We understand that many of you are eager to again enjoy the PlayStation Network and Qriocity entertainment services that you love, so we wanted you to be aware of this milestone and our progress.
With week three of the outage rolling in and the original live date of May 3rd 2011 cancelled due to the further intrusion and theft of user data from the Sony Online Entertainment service it’s getting to the point where many users are considering moving to Microsoft XBL on the Xbox360. To those users, BackslashGaming.com would like to remind you that you will be choosing to play on a hacked and exploited system.
For all the ‘business decisions’ and missed deadlines, at least PS3 and the Playstation Network have remained relatively hack free.