Sony Fined $390K in U.K. for 2011 PlayStation Network Data Breach
Sony says it disagrees with the ruling and will appeal the $390,000 fine, which stems from an April 2011 data breach in which hackers penetrated the PlayStation Network and stole personal data from millions of members’ accounts.Sony Computer Entertainment Europe was slapped with a £250,000 ($390,000) fine by the U.K.'s Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in connection with a data breach in 2011. In April of that year, Sony disclosed that hackers had stolen personal data from millions of members of the PlayStation Network online gaming community. The stolen information included members' email addresses, birth dates and passwords. Though millions of users had credit card information registered to their account, there was no evidence that the encrypted payment details were accessed, the ICO investigation found. However, the commissioner's office determined that the attack could have been prevented if Sony's software had been up-to-date and the password security had been improved. "If you are responsible for so many payment card details and log-in details then keeping that personal data secure has to be your priority," said David Smith, deputy commissioner and director of Data Protection, in a statement. "In this case that just didn’t happen, and when the database was targeted – albeit in a determined criminal attack – the security measures in place were simply not good enough."
It is the job of the ICO to serve as the regulatory office for issues dealing with Data Protection Act 1998 and Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 in the U.K. The office also deals with violations of the 'Freedom of Information Act 2000' and the 'Environmental Information Regulations 2004' in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and, to a limited extent, in Scotland.