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Sony agrees to $15m settlement for 2011 PSN outage

Sony agrees to $15m settlement for 2011 PSN outage

Playstation Network suffered a significant data breach in April 2011, taking the service offline for several weeks.

Sony has agreed to a $15m preliminary settlement as a result of a class action lawsuit brought to the company due to its 2011 data breach that lead to a prolonged outage of the Playstation Network and the theft of 77 million users' data.

The settlement offers US PSN users free Playstation 3 and PSP games, free Playstation 3 themes, free SOE Station cash and free subscriptions to Playstation Plus and Music Unlimited.

This is not dissimilar to Sony’s actions immediately following the breach in 2011 where the company offered affected users two free games and a trial of Playstation Plus in a ‘Welcome Back’ package. This new settlement allows anyone who missed out on this at the time to take advantage of it again on a first-come first-serve basis with a cap of $6m worth of games across the whole network.

Anyone who did claim the Welcome Back package will also be allowed an additional game, theme or Playstation Plus subscription on the same first-come first-serve basis, this time with an overall cap of $4m.

Users with Netflix of Hulu subscriptions that were unable to use these services due to the PSN outage will also be allowed some additional free month subscriptions for Sony's services.

Compensation of $2,500 is also available to any users that can prove they had their identity stolen as a result of the hack.

The settlement still needs to be approved by a judge and is still subject to change. A list of games and specific contact details have currently been omitted from the legal documents and will be published once the settlement is approved.

Data stolen during the 2011 PSN breach included names, addresses and potentially credit card data. The company was given a £250,000 fine by the ICO for what it described as a ‘serious breach’ of the Data Protection Act.

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