Back in January, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced that Sony “let everybody down” with “the most serious breach” reported when the PSN was hacked. As a result, the regulator announced a £250,000 ($377,575) fine.
Sony was given a chance to contest the decision, but they have now announced that they have dropped the appeal “after careful consideration,” as part of a “commitment to protect the confidentiality of our network security from disclosures in the course of the proceeding.”
David Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection of ICO, said:
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. 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.
There’s no disguising that this is a business that should have known better. It is a company that trades on its technical expertise, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they had access to both the technical knowledge and the resources to keep this information safe.
The penalty we’ve issued today is clearly substantial, but we make no apologies for that. The case is one of the most serious ever reported to us. It directly affected a huge number of consumers, and at the very least put them at risk of identity theft.
If there’s any bright side to this it’s that a PR Week poll shortly after the breach found the case had left 77 per cent of consumers more cautious about giving their personal details to other websites. Companies certainly need to get their act together but we all need to be careful about who we disclose our personal information to.
Back in May 2011, Sony announced that the PlayStation Network hack would cost the company approximately ¥14 billion (£106 million/$171 million).
Do you think the penalty was just? Let us know in the comments below.