US Senator upset it took Sony “nearly a week” to inform customers over possible information breach

Tuesday, 26 April 2011 22:38 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

It looks as though Sony’s failure to inform customers that their data may have been compromised as early as April 20 has upset a US Senator.

According to the press release via Joystiq, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal “demanding” and answer as to why SCEA is just now informing consumers of the hacker’s breach.

“When a data breach occurs, it is essential that customers be immediately notified about whether and to what extent their personal and financial information has been compromised,” Blumenthal said in a release. “Compounding this concern is the troubling lack of notification from Sony about the nature of the data breach.

“Although the breach occurred nearly a week ago, Sony has not notified customers of the intrusion, or provided information that is vital to allowing individuals to protect themselves from identity theft, such as informing users whether their personal or financial information may have been compromised.”

The Senator also sent SCEA president Jack Tretton an email on the matter, which again thanks to Joystiq, we have posted below.

Dear Mr. Tretton:

I am writing regarding a recent data breach of Sony’s PlayStation Network service. I am troubled by the failure of Sony to immediately notify affected customers of the breach and to extend adequate financial data security protections.

It has been reported that on April 20, 2011, Sony’s PlayStation Network suffered an “external intrusion” and was subsequently disabled. News reports estimate that 50 million to 75 million consumers – many of them children – access the PlayStation Network for video and entertainment. I understand that the PlayStation Network allows users to store credit card information online to facilitate the purchasing of content such as games and movies through the PlayStation Network. A breach of such a widely used service immediately raises concerns of data privacy, identity theft, and other misuse of sensitive personal and financial data, such as names, email addresses, and credit and debit card information.

When a data breach occurs, it is essential that customers be immediately notified about whether and to what extent their personal and financial information has been compromised. Additionally, PlayStation Network users should be provided with financial data security services, including free access to credit reporting services, for two years, the costs of which should be borne by Sony. Affected individuals should also be provided with sufficient insurance to protect them from the possible financial consequences of identity theft.

I am concerned that PlayStation Network users’ personal and financial information may have been inappropriately accessed by a third party. Compounding this concern is the troubling lack of notification from Sony about the nature of the data breach. Although the breach occurred nearly a week ago, Sony has not notified customers of the intrusion, or provided information that is vital to allowing individuals to protect themselves from identity theft, such as informing users whether their personal or financial information may have been compromised. Nor has Sony specified how it intends to protect these consumers.

PlayStation Network users deserve more complete information on the data breach, as well as the assurance that their personal and financial information will be securely maintained. I appreciate your prompt response on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Richard Blumenthal
United States Senate

Batten down the hatches and cover your ass(ets) we reckon.

Get caught up on everything related to the matter here and here.

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