A new settlement is being reached in the case involving the PlayStation Network hacks that took place back in 2011, where a lot of user data was compromised and the service was taken offline for more than several weeks.
According to Polygon, the new settlement will see Sony doling out $15 million to users who may have been affected by the blackout of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity during the hacker's attack.
This is all part of a settlement to help assuage concerns over compensation for user data, personal names, addresses and potentially credit card information that may have been compromised in the data breach.
Over in the United Kingdom, authorities have already fined Sony more than £250,000 due to "serious breach of the Data Protection Act." This was in addition to Sony offering users free games and goods via the PlayStation Network service, which the authorities felt was not enough to compensate or justify the lack of security for such sensitive data on Sony's network services.
According to the Information Commissioner's Office's deputy commissioner David Smith...
"If you are responsible for so many payment card details and log-in details, then keeping that personal data secure has to be your priority," … "In this case that just didn't happen, and when the database was targeted — albeit in a determined criminal attack — the security measures in place were simply not good enough."
The new $15 million dollar settlement will be handled across a number of free goods and services offered to PlayStation and Qriocity members who may have been affected by the hacking attack. This includes free Sony Online Entertainment Station Cash for SOE's MMOs, free PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable games, free PS3 themes for the dashboard, free subscriptions to PlayStation Plus for all active PlayStation platforms and free subscriptions to the Music Unlimited service.
Whether users participated in the “Welcome Back” program or not, they will receive some form of compensation. Those who did participate in the “Welcome Back” program will eligible to receive a free game, theme or PlayStation Plus subscription benefit. Non-PSN members who did have a Qriocity account will be eligible for an entire month of free Music Unlimited Service – a service, I might add, that usually carries a $4.99 per month price tag with it.
Those receiving Sony Online Entertainment's station cash will be able to receive $4.50 worth of credits that will be credited to the claimants designated account.
Of course, many of these free service amenities will only be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. This means that if you were hoping there would be a designation as to how the free goods would be received, think again.
In addition to this, these user rewards will have to wait as Sony's attempt to appease courts and users over the data breach has been reprieved to May 1st of 2015, mostly for the court to assess for “reasonableness”. So these rewards may not be handed out until well into 2015 or possibly later.