In April of 2011, Sony's PlayStation Network was hit with an "external intrusion," prompting a massive shutdown amid concerns that personal information – possibly even credit card info – had been compromised. Those fears were eventually confirmed, as Sony admitted to a data breach. The PlayStation Network was down for nearly a month, slowly coming back online in mid-May.
A couple of days later, Sony announced an apology swag pack of sorts, which they called the "Welcome Back Customer Appreciation Program." It allowed any and all PSN customers to select two games from a pre-determined list of either PS# or PSP games – plus a bunch of other smaller benefits like free trials of PlayStation Plus and free virtual items.
For some, Sony's mea culpa was enough. Some – not everyone.
For the unsatisfied, a class action lawsuit followed. Now, more than three years after the headline-grabbing hack, the suit has a preliminary settlement.
The proposed settlement, which still has to be accepted by a judge, offers restitution in the total amount of $15 million – in the form of games and other giveaways.
Sony's proposal breaks it down into groups – those claimants who already took advantage of their previous "Welcome Back" package, and those who didn't.
From the settlement:
PSN Claimants who did not participate in the “Welcome Back” package offered to PSN Account holders are eligible to receive two of the following PSN Benefit Options (i.e., either two separate PSN Benefit Options or two instances of one PSN Benefit Option): (1) one PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable game selected from a list of fourteen games included on the Claim Form (the “Game Benefit”); (2) three PlayStation 3 themes selected from a list of six themes listed on the Claim Form (the “Theme Benefit”); or (3) a three month subscription to the PlayStation Plus service free of charge.
As you can see, similar to what was offered in the original apology package.
Users who already took that package are being offered one benefit option.
All benefits will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis – with a $6 million cap on non-welcome back claimants and a $4 million cap on welcome back claimants.
The saga is far from over, however, as a final ruling on the settlement will have to wait nearly another year – May, 2015. Sony has already paid a $396,000 fine over the data breach, to the UK's Information Commissioner Office last year.
Image via Wikimedia Commons