Feeds

After hack nightmare, Sony bars lawsuits with new TOS

Class actions verboten

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

After getting the pants sued off it for security breaches that exposed personal information connected to more than 100 million online accounts, Sony is requiring subscribers to waive their right to wage class-action lawsuits for almost any reason.

Sony dropped the bombshell in an updated terms of service and user agreement (PDF) on one of its websites. It requires people with accounts on Sony's PlayStation Network or other online services to seek binding arbitration with an arbitrator of the company's choosing instead of exercising their right to have a judge or jury hear their case. Legal claims can only be filed if the dispute isn't resolved through arbitration in a timely manner.

The terms go on to state:

ANY DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEEDINGS, WHETHER IN ARBITRATION OR COURT, WILL BE CONDUCTED ONLY ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS AND NOT IN A CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION OR AS A NAMED OR UNNAMED MEMBER IN A CLASS, CONSOLIDATED, REPRESENTATIVE OR PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL LEGALACTION, UNLESS BOTH YOU AND THE SONY ENTITY WITH WHICH YOU HAVE A DISPUTE SPECIFICALLY AGREE TO DO SO IN WRITING FOLLOWING INITIATION OF THE ARBITRATION.

Sony subscribers will be required to agree to the terms the next time they sign into their accounts - effective Thursday - if they want to continue using the online services.

The changes come five months after an attack on the PlayStation Network exposed names, addresses, email addresses, passwords, and other sensitive data for 77 million accounts. Sony shuttered the service for 40 days while it cleaned up the mess. In the weeks following, attacks were found to hit Sony Online Entertainment, the company's computer games service, and the Sony Pictures website, exposing personal information for 25 million more accounts.

In July Sony's insurance company filed a lawsuit that argued its policy didn't apply to a raft of class-action lawsuits filed in response to the high-profile security breaches.

The terms of service give subscribers the ability of opt out of the class action require, but it will require them to do something many probably haven't done in years, if ever – write a letter on paper and send it to an address using the postal service.

The instructions:

YOUR WRITTEN NOTIFICATION MUST BE MAILED TO 6080 CENTER DRIVE, 10TH FLOOR, LOS ANGELES, CA 90045, ATTN: LEGAL DEPARTMENT/ARBITRATION AND MUST INCLUDE: (1) YOUR NAME, (2) YOUR ADDRESS, (3) YOUR PSN ACCOUNT NUMBER, IF YOU HAVE ONE, AND (4) A CLEAR STATEMENT THAT YOU DO NOT WISH TO RESOLVE DISPUTES WITH ANY SONY ENTITY THROUGH ARBITRATION.

Anyone got a stamp? ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.