Sony announced yesterday that the Playstation Network (PSN) is set to return by the end of this week. Reports indicate access began to be provided to users starting on May 15 with different regions being incrementally phased in worldwide. Questions remain, however, as to the extent of previous breaches of the gaming network’s security and just how safe gamers are from having the incidences of May occur again.
With its restoration of access to Playstation and Qriocity users in US, Europe and Asia, Sony is ending a month of outage that was first spurred by a breech of the networks’ security. As we explored previously, that Sony has admitted that the breech occurred due to the exploit of a known vulnerability opens a rather clear inquiry of just how negligent the electronics giant was in the matter. Down since April, the Playstation gaming network and Qriocity, a movie and music service, have been sorely missed by users that frequently accessed the services for their entertainment needs. However, with that access came the disclosure of information that is now likely in the open. What this information can be used for, and the subsequent ramifications for the users, remains to be seen but there is no doubt the courts will begin seeing discussion on the damages caused.
Sony has been adamant about the upgrades they have made to their system, stating they have “been conducting additional testing and further security verification of our commerce functions in order to bring the PlayStation Network completely back online so that [their] fans can again enjoy the first class entertainment experience they have come to love.” This statement, made by Sony Executive Deputy Vice President Kazuo Hirai, also came with an expression of gratitude for the patience and support offered by fans. The reality of the situation, however, is that those whose information was disclosed have zero patience for an invasion of their privacy.
Preliminary reports from Sony claim that 100 million accounts were affected by the recent breech, though if this number is accurate remains to be seen. It is obvious, though, that this number of accounts is staggering and was definitively avoidable. This availability touches upon the definition of negligence in American law; what makes this case exceptionally unique is that accounts in Asia and Europe were affected as well. Regardless of its reach worldwide, the PSN breech has, according to Sony, led to ‘considerable’ security upgrades to the free service. What these upgrades involve remain a secret, obviously, but many in the technology industry question how many additional vulnerabilities Sony may be aware of and what action, if any, has been taken to shore them up.
Understanding your rights in a negligence case in which personal information is disclosed is important for people in Louisiana and across the country. Those 100 million users whose accounts were exposed should undoubtedly pursue legal representation as essential private details now lie in ill-intending hands. However, should the breech have included even more than the hundred Sony claims through connected networks or other system breeches, anyone affected should quickly position themselves to protect their legal interests immediately. By contacting an attorney, someone affected in a negligence claim can begin legal proceedings that protect their claim from timing out (prescription) or being handled without them (class actions, etc.).
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