Skip to main content

First lawsuit against PlayStation filed as users report credit card fraud

sony-psn-playstation-networkIt was bound to happen: Sony is being sued for the security breach of its PSN network and subsequent loss of user data, including credit card information. California-based Rothken Law Firm has filed suit on behalf of Alabama PSN subscriber Kristopher Johns as well as all other users hit by the fallout. The firm specializes in class action, civil litigation, and high technology law.

“This action is brought on behalf of plaintiff individually, as representative of the common or general interest and as class representatives for all other similarly situated nationwide against Sony to redress the defendant’s breach of warranty, negligent data security, violations of consumers’ rights of privacy, failure to protect those rights, and failure and on-going refusal to timely inform consumers of unauthorized third party access to their credit card account and other nonpublic and private financial information,” the lawsuit states. It also addresses users’ inability to access the network they were paying for and seeks undisclosed monetary damages, but does specify that the paintiff(s) expect some sort of redress for “defective” PlayStation consoles and PSN and Qriocity services, as well as all legal fees and credit report monitoring covered.

While the lawsuit accuses Sony of generally lax security measures, it largely takes issue with the company’s inability to keep users in the loop. It argues that Sony was well aware of the hack’s consequences but failed to inform subscribers, which did not allow them “to make an informed decision as to whether to change credit card number, close exposed accounts, check their credit reports, or take other mitigating actions.”

Sony’s PSN and Qriocity services were first hit by the outage April 17, and Sony admitted later that week that it was due to “external forces.” Only yesterday, April 26, did it admit user data has been stolen, including credit card information. PlayStation users are feeling the effects: Ars Technica reports that various readers have fallen victim to credit card theft because of the massive security breach, which some are saying is of unforeseen proportions.

It is undeniably clear that Sony is at fault here and that millions of subscribers deserve at least some sort of compensation, but analyst Michael Pachter says it could be hard to prove. Speaking with IndustryGamers, Pachter says “It’s really hard to show damages. How much does it cost you to have your identity stolen? Especially if you can’t prove that it was used for any purpose whatsoever? Pain and suffering? Not appropriate for a class action [lawsuit], so the amount of the settlement would be very small, if anything at all.”

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
2023 gaming report card: how did PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo score?
The Xbox Series X and PS5

It's been a long year filled with massive games, but we've finally reached the end of 2023. There's no question that this year will be remembered as one of the all-time best for new releases -- and one of the worst for game creators -- but it's been a whirlwind 12 months for the "big three" console makers. PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo all had pivotal years, though in entirely different ways. While the Nintendo Switch took a victory lap, the PS5 entered an experimental era. The Xbox Series X, on the other hand, finally delivered the suite of exclusives fans had been waiting for ... with mixed results.

To reflect on such an eventful year, we've decided to take on the role of teacher and hand each company a final grade for 2023. We took several factors into account here. Exclusive games are a major component of the final grade, naturally, but we also looked at how well each system maintained its wider ecosystem. That includes supporting services like PS Plus and Game Pass and evaluating how new hardware changed how we play.

Read more
Our favorite PlayStation games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more
Spider-Man and Miles Morales stand in front of a Best PS5 Games 2023 logo.

With the video game industry as busy as it is these days, there's rarely ever a "bad" year for any console. Even in a less busy year, platforms like Xbox still tend to have highlights in exciting indie games. That was true for PlayStation this year, which continued its strong momentum this generation despite only having a handful of big-ticket games.

While not every big PS5 exclusive thrilled this year, there were a lot of strong experiences to dive into. Developers got more mileage than ever out of the system's beefy tech specs, while PlayStation VR2 gave the platform some creative, immersive experiences. That's not to mention a handful of indies and third-party releases that Sony locked down as console exclusives for a time. That list of heavy hitters even included Baldur's Gate 3 for a few short months. In reflecting on another great year for PS5, we've highlighted seven games that stuck with us this year. Some were certainly divisive, but all of them helped give Sony's powerhouse system some extra depth in a crowded year.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Read more
Nintendo Switch vs. PlayStation Portal: which portable device is best?
PlayStation Portal and the switch on a table.

Handheld gaming has come back in a big way this past generation. Nintendo formerly held the crown as the king of the dedicated handheld market with its unfathomably successful DS line, which would eventually combine into a home console with the equally impressive Switch. PlayStation attempted to get into this market with the PSP and PS Vita but appeared to bow out of that competition when the latter failed to achieve much success. However, the new PlayStation Portal device could provide players with an alternative to Nintendo's aging system.

If you're debating between the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation Portal, here's a full breakdown of how the two devices stack up.
Nintendo Switch Vs. PlayStation Portal specs
When it comes to specs, let's start with the easy comparisons.

Read more