Back in April 2011, Sony’s PlayStation Network was hacked, resulting in the theft of user account details for 77 million people. It also resulted in the PSN being taken offline for almost a month. Remember that? Yeah, those were dark times loaded with protracted silences from Sony. It took them more than a week to come clean and tell people about the extent of the breach.
This all resulted in a class action lawsuit being filed against Sony in the US. That legal case has been going for years now, and Sony has finally tabled an offer to the plaintiffs. It’s important to realise that this is an offer, which means it’s yet to be approved and signed off by any judge presiding over the case. It’s also important to realise that this is an offer based on the US class action lawsuit and as such it only benefits those PSN users in America.
Sony’s proposal amounts to $15 million worth of compensation in the form of “free PS3 and PSP games, free PS3 themes, free subscriptions to PlayStation Plus, free subscriptions to the Music Unlimited service, and free SOE Station Cash.”
It gets a little more complicated than that. Once the PSN dust had settled and things were back to normal after the 2011 hack, Sony offered compensation to all affected in the form of a “Welcome Back” pack. That offer gave people two free PS3 games or two free PSP games. However, some of the people in this class action lawsuit didn’t take that “Welcome Back” pack, and as such this new, post-litigation offer is allowing those people to choose two of the following forms of compensation: three months of PlayStation Plus subscription, a free PSP or PS3 game, or some PS3 themes. This offer is only available to a limited amount of people; once Sony has paid out $6 million of this compensation stuff, the deal will end.
Then, those people who did gain free games though the “Welcome Back” package can choose one of the above mentioned offerings. This deal is also limited to a set amount, which Sony has pegged at $4 million.
Finally, if anyone is able to prove that they suffered legitimate identity theft or credit card fraud, then Sony will compensate them with $2,500.
Those are the main points to this offering. Of course, it means nothing to us in South Africa, but Sony is fighting lawsuits based on this 2011 hack all over the world so you never know what might happen here.