Playstation Catches D.C. Flak Over Major Privacy Breach
Says account info on millions of users was compromised
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/27/2011 6:06:47 PM
The company revealed Wednesday that account information on millions of users of its online gaming had been compromised, leading privacy legislation backers on Capitol Hill wanting to know how it happened and what the company was going to do about it.
Sony said the information included names, addresses, e-mail addresses and birthdays, may have included billing addresses and purchase histories, and that it could not rule out passwords and credit card numbers and expiration dates (though not security codes).
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) said he was disturbed that it apparently took Sony a week between the breach and the announcement and said he would re-introduce data security legislation similar to a bill he introduced last Congress. "Violations of consumer privacy is no respecter of party affiliation and, with all that is at stake, I continue to call upon the House Republican leadership to hold legislative hearings, immediately, on privacy and data security legislation," he said. That bill "requires 'for-profit' entities holding data containing consumers' personal information to have reasonable and appropriate security measures in place to protect that data."
"Sony touts its PlayStation platform's real-time and networking capabilities to consumers," said Rush. "The laws of this country should call, similarly, for consumers to be notified in as close to real-time as possible-not according to Sony time-whenever their sensitive information falls into the hands of intruders, hackers, thieves and information resellers," he said Wednesday.
Ed Markey (D-Mass.), co-chair of the House bipartisan privacy caucus (who never saw a phrase he couldn't or wouldn't turn) was equally troubled. ""Hackers and data thieves shouldn't be able to play â€˜Grand Theft Info' with millions of addresses, emails, and other sensitive information, some of which belongs to children," he said.
Markey, who is teeing up a bill to prevent online tracking of kids info, said he was concerned buy the identify theft risks and other possible crimes. "Sony needs to explain how this incident occurred, why this information does not appear to have been encrypted and what Sony is doing to fix the problem and help consumers whose data was exposed."
Anthony Spears - 4/27/2011 6:34:04 PM EDT
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