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First Lawsuit Filed Over Sony PlayStation Data Breach Affecting Up to 75 Million Customers

Posted Apr 27, 2011 3:09 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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After news yesterday that hackers may have obtained personal information, including credit card numbers, of up to 75 million Sony PlayStation Network customers comes news today of the first litigation over the incident.

The Rothken Law Firm has filed a federal lawsuit in the Northern District of California on behalf of Kristopher Johns, 36, of Birmingham, Ala. The action contends Sony was negligent in failing to "protect, encrypt and secure the private and sensitive data of its users," resulting in "the loss of their personal and private information, including customer names, addresses, email addresses, birthdays, PlayStation Network and Qriocity passwords and user names, as well as online user handles and possibly credit card related data," according to CNET News' Circuit Breaker blog of and Time's Techland blog.

While American customers will need to prove damages in the case, which seeks class action status, Sony likely can expect bigger repercussions in Europe, where stricter privacy policies are in force, a University of California-Irvine law professor tells Reuters.

"European countries are going to go crazy and be all over this," professor Dan Burk tells the news agency."They are absolutely obsessed about companies holding personal information."

Here in the United States, the Federal Trade Commission also could potentially fine Sony, if the company were found to have provided inaccurate information to customers about its privacy policies.

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