California firm and Alabama man file class action suit against Sony over PSN breach

Wednesday, 27th April 2011 21:03 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

A class action lawsuit was filed against Sony today over the security breach of PSN users personal information.

Filed in SCEA’s home state of California at the request of Kristopher Johns, 36, of Birmingham, Alabama on behalf the millions of PSN users, the Rothken law firm has accused Sony of negligence for not taking “reasonable care to protect, encrypt, and secure the private and sensitive data of its users.”

Johns claims Sony did not notify him or other PSN users of the fact their personal information was compromised due to the PSN breach, and due to the the lack of prompt notification, customers were unable “to make an informed decision as to whether to change credit card numbers, close the exposed accounts, check their credit reports, or take other mitigating actions.”

The lawsuit request free credit card monitoring, along with monetary compensation and requesting class action status.

Yesterday, after Sony announced the possibility that users information could be obtained for nefarious purposes, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal expressed to Sony his worry over customers not being notified in a more prompt manner. Like the class action suit filed today, Blumenthal asked Sony to voluntarily provide customers with data security services, as well as free access to credit monitoring services for the next two years.

Sony’s statement yesterday admitted that between April 17 and 19, all personal information stored on PSN was obtained by and “unauthorized person”.

You can read the full complaint in a lovely PDF against Sony over on CNET.

Thanks, RipTen.



  1. Phoenixblight

    “The lawsuit request free credit card monitoring, along with monetary compensation and requesting class action status.”

    Thats already free you noobs. They give 90 days of free monitoring. Hope that guy likes waiting 10 years because thats what is going to happen.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. hitnrun

    Alabama Man?

    Man, that was pretty fast.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Stephany Nunneley

    @ this one is better in quality! :D Plus it has wild wacky action bike!!!

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Alakratt


    So it was THAT Alabama man? That makes sense!! LMFAO!!!

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Stephany Nunneley

    @4 :D I have been laughing at that over twitter most of the day.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. lexph3re

    Just pathetic, not surprising at all though. With gas over here in america being 4bucks a gallon. I pretty much new some asswipe couldn’t wait for an opportunity to think he can become a millionaire

    #6 4 years ago
  7. freedoms_stain

    The US just wouldn’t be the US if SOMEONE didn’t try and reap unwarranted financial gain when they haven’t actually lost anything via the avenue of law suit.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. HauntaVirus

    He’s from Alabama, what do you expect…

    #8 4 years ago
  9. humanfish

    Try almost $10 a gallon in the UK

    #9 4 years ago
  10. hitnrun

    @3 Damn, I was looking for that. The one on Youtube is awful.

    It obviously isn’t THAT Alabama Man. He’s just waking up…

    I had this inkling that whoever wrote this update was thinking of that when they used the phrase. I’m glad to see I was right :D

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Fin


    Yeah… I saw petrol (“gas”) for sale in Ireland for $8.64/gallon (€1.56/litre) at the weekend. Count yerselves lucky.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. lexph3re

    O.O *faints*

    #12 4 years ago
  13. NeoSquall

    In my province petrol goes >1.60€/litre.

    Thus I wouldn’t mind suing this Kristopher Johns, from Alabama, for manifest idiocy.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    Damn, i regret saying a lot of bad things about Sony. I mean, they need to fix this asap and do something or else, we can forget about Playstation brand.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. YoungZer0

    @14: I love how you always say such things. “They totally need to do this, or else …” You said the same things about Crysis 2 missing out a 90 at MetaCritics. But i guess you must be an expert on failure.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. NeoSquall

    @14 They hacked Erthazus’ account.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Nozz

    @16 hahaha IKR i was like “WTF?” when i read that post.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. TheWulf


    “Butthurt PlayStation Brigade, ho!” ?

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Erthazus

    @16, they can’t :D my card expired (in march) and i have a new one bitches :D

    Kiddies nd Playstation slaves are all over the place as always.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. DuhMan

    herp derp
    sony is finished along with their butthurt fanboys
    XBOTS rule

    #20 4 years ago
  21. LOLshock94


    #21 4 years ago
  22. Fin


    Herp derp derp, herp derp?

    #22 4 years ago
  23. neon6

    If nearly 15 years following the emulation scene off and on has taught me anything, it’s that no security is safe forever. It is practically impossible to program something so airtight that no hacker will ever gain entry. The only approach left to companies in this day and age is to constantly tweak their system’s security while said console is still financially viable and to scare the meeker among the “1337″ with threats of litigation.

    Claims of Sony should’ve done this, that or the other thing seem rather hollow when one considers how many times this has happened to every major American bank and credit card company, the U.S. government, other tech firms, and on a long enough timeline will absolutely occur on both Xbox Live and whatever Nintendo winds up dubbing its network.

    Wikileaks wouldn’t exist were it not for the simple, essential truth that the determined will always be successful thieves. Furthermore, on any given day at any given company, for every one security specialist on staff, there’s likely a hundred hackers working loosely in tandem to breach said company’s defenses.

    So it all boils down to loss prevention. Just like retail, it’s understood that (the opportunity for) theft can’t be prevented, but resources must be spent all the same to ensure that said losses are kept to a minimum.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Cygnar

    A class action suit’s success hinges in part on the plaintiff’s ability to accurately identify the affected class. There will be enough information in the affected databases to identify all of–and likely only–the PSN users who provided personal information. Therefore, I expect that this case will develop abnormally quickly as far as class action lawsuits are concerned, because the affected class is sufficiently identified by the very information leaked. I await official notice of this suit in the mail, as should any US PSN account holder who provided Sony with personal information.

    That said, the interesting question is no longer “how could this have happened,” but rather, “what will happen next?” Sony is in a similar situation to Toyota’s after last year’s hysteria about the auto manufacturer’s brake systems. The press keeps flooding in and it is almost uniformly negative. In order to regain the trust of its consumers, the only move to make is to provide a better product. Whether this means better security, a more robust feature set for PSN, or even Sony throwing money at exclusives a la Microsoft is unclear. What is clear, however, is that to the extent that security fears become increasingly publicized, Sony cannot continue on its current course and expect the problem of public trust to go away. Every incentive is in place for Sony to bow to consumer demands and try to win back its users’ trust in whatever way it can.

    I do not expect a similar leak to happen again any time soon. It would be suicide for Sony not to drastically improve security at this time. What I do expect is a change in the company’s tune by the time E3 rolls around. Sony must act, and it must act quickly if it is to save face. Though I am not happy with the breach, I am curious about how Sony will attempt to recover from this disaster.

    Also, I read a lot of chatter, especially on the PS blog, about the EULA–how there is no requirement for Sony to compensate its users or extend subscriptions during outages, how it provides no warranties as to the usability of the PSN, et cetera. If these facts about the EULA worry you, realize this. The very fact that Sony can choose to ignore some problems does not mean that it is a good idea for it to do so. It is clear as day that Sony does not benefit from its customers feeling ripped off, and it will probably do something soon in an attempt to soften the blow. Conversely, the very fact that Sony claims in a contract that it is not responsible for lost or stolen data does not make it so. Contracts do not give corporations permission to mishandle personal data in a criminally negligent manner, in just the same way that contracts do not give hitmen permission to commit murder. This is the case in the UK as well as the US.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. gamestx

    I still don’t get it. Based on all the news and comments I’ve read on this site. Hackers are GOD and untouchable. They can do everything they want and yet their victim like Sony for the time being got blamed and bombarded. Why nobody take any law action or sue the hackers? Furthermore, what’s the big fuss about this, why keep making free publicity for those hackers. They’re sitting by the sidelines eating pizza, drinking beer and celebrating their victory in a small room somewhere in the basement or something.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Phoenixblight


    THat would be like suing water because your drowned or like suing god because you got cancer. Not going to happen unless you can identify the group that actually did it.

    #26 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.