It looks like the citizens of the United States are not the only ones feeling litigious over the recent theft of personal identification information from the PlayStation Network. Yesterday, the Toronto-based law firm of McPhadden Samac Tuovi LLP filed a proposed class-action lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court of Justice on behalf of college student, Natasha Maksimovic. The suit is directed against Sony Japan, Sony USA, Sony Canada and other Sony entities for a failure to “adequately safeguard certain personal information, financial data and usage data belonging to the Plaintiff and other class members.”
Ms. Maksimovic and her lawyers are seeking in excess of one billion dollars on behalf of those Canadians affected by this breach. The prayer for damages includes requiring Sony to pay the costs of credit monitoring services and fraud insurance coverage for two years for all Canadian PSN users.
Ms. Maksimovic is a 21-year old student who claims to be “an avid PlayStation player,” but is concerned that her personal identification information will be used against her wishes. She also released the following statement:
If you can’t trust a huge multi-national corporation like Sony to protect your private information, who can you trust. It appears to me that Sony focuses more on protecting its games than its PlayStation users.
As we stated with regard to the the proposed class-action lawsuit filed in California, the key issue with this new case will be whether the Court grants class certification. If this occurs, Sony will most likely move to settle the claim if at all possible. Even if Sony is able to defeat the pending lawsuits and those that will certainly be filed in the future, the cost of litigation over the data breach is sure to be a drag on their operating costs. Adding to this extended nightmare, Sony Online Entertainment recently admitted that it suffered an intrusion as well, which resulted in the theft of over 900 active credit card numbers.
Making matters worse, the United States Congress wanted Sony representatives to testify at a Congressional hearing tomorow entitled, “The Threat of Data Theft to American Consumers.” Sony declined to attend due to its ongoing investigation but members of Congress directed Kaz Hirai, the Chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment America, to answer several questions about the data breach by May 3, 2011 (Read the letter here which originally required answers by May 6th). Additionally, attorney generals from over 20 States are demanding information about the loss of personal data.
Sony’s attempt to quell the furor with a free game and a month of PSN plus may not be enough to stop the legal wrangling that has been set in motion. One thing that would certainly diffuse some of the anger among gamers, however, is if the PlayStation Network goes live this week as promised.