Sony Agrees to $15 Million Settlement in 2011 Security Breach Class Action Lawsuit

Sony has agreed to a settlement concerning the PlayStation Network security breach of 2011, which saw various online services related to the PS3 and PSP go offline for months after hackers compromised Sony's security on PSN and walked away with millions of customers' private data.

Under the terms of the deal PSN users get a choice of an old PS3 or PSP game, or three months of the PlayStation Plus subscription service. The PS Plus option is only available to customer that live in the U.S.

The PS3 games being offered include Dead Nation, inFamous, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD and rain. The PSP games being offered are LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers, Patapon 3 and Killzone Liberation. Many of these games were already offered by Sony to customers as an apology when the service came back online in 2011 as part of what it called the "Welcome Back" pack.

There will be a total of eight PS3 games offered and six on PSP, but what other games will be made available is unknown as of this writing. Qriocity account holders who did not have a PSN account at the time of the security breach are eligible for one month free of Sony's Music Unlimited service. The deal will ultimately cost Sony $15 million.

The settlement still has to be approved by a judge and a decision on that will be made on  May 1, 2015, making the games that were listed look even more dated then they already are. Assuming a judge does finally approve the deal, a letter (found below – we assume this is just a mock-up of a letter to be revised prior to publication) will be published on websites and in game-related magazine informing consumers of the settlement details. A draft of that letter (obtained by Polygon) can be found below offering more specific details on what PSN account holder will get:

If You Had a PlayStation Network, Qriocity, or Sony Online Entertainment Account Before May 15, 2011, You Could Get Benefits from a Class Action Settlement.
    A settlement has been reached with the Sony Entities in a class action lawsuit about the illegal and unauthorized attacks (the "Intrusions") in April of 2011, on the computer network systems used to provide PlayStation Network ("PSN"), Qriocity, and Sony Online Entertainment ("SOE") services.
    The Sony Entities deny any claims of wrongdoing in this case, and the settlement does not mean that the Sony Entities violated any laws or did anything wrong.


    The Class includes everyone in the US who had a PSN account, a Qriocity account, or an SOE account at any time before May 15, 2011.

    There are various benefits, depending in part on what type of account(s) you had. Benefits you could get (if you qualify) include:
    -Payment equal to paid wallet balances (if $2 or more) in PSN or SOE accounts that have been inactive since the Intrusions,
    -One or more of the following: a free PS3 or PSP game, 3 free PS3 themes, or a free 3-month subscription to PlayStation Plus (once valid claims exceed $10 million, class members will still be eligible for one free month of PlayStation Plus),
    -A free month of Music Unlimited for Qriocity accountholders who did not have a PSN account,
    -$4.50 in SOE Station Cash (amounts will be reduced proportionally if valid claims exceed $4 million).
    Identity Theft Reimbursement: If you had out-of-pocket charges due to actual identity theft, and have documentation proving that the theft was actually caused by the Intrusion(s), you can submit a claim for reimbursement up to $2,500. Reimbursements will be reduced proportionally if the total amount payable on of all valid claims would exceed $1 million.

    You need to file a claim to be eligible for benefits. Claim forms are available at WWW.PSNSOESETTLEMENT.COM [TREAT WITH CAUTION -Bertie] or by calling 1-800-000-0000. The earliest deadline to file a claim is Month 00, 2014, or 60 days after the settlement becomes final and effective.
    Even if you do nothing, you will be bound by the Court's decisions. If you want to keep your right to sue the Sony Entities yourself, you must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class by Month 00, 2014. If you stay in the Settlement Class, you may object to the Settlement by Month 00, 2014. The detailed notice, available at the website or by phone, explains how to exclude yourself or object. The Court will hold a hearing in this case on Month 00, 2014, to consider whether to approve the settlement, and a request by Class Counsel for fees, costs, and expenses up to $2,750,000. You or your own lawyer may appear and speak at the hearing at your own expense.

Source: Eurogamer

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