Sony drops fine appeal over PSN hack

News 15 Jul, 2013

Consumer electronics giant decides to cough up and move on.

Sony has called time on its attempt to quash a fine handed out by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) over the Playstation Network (PSN) hack of 2011.

As reported by IT Pro earlier in the year, the consumer electronics giant was set to appeal against the £250,000 fine, metted out by the watchdog as punishment for the 2011 hack on the firm’s PlayStation Network. At the time, the ICO said the breach was avoidable, as Sony could have done more to protect users’ payment card and log in details.

However, Sony stated that the decision to drop the appeal wasn’t an admission of guilt, before explaining that pursuing it would have meant disclosing sensitive data.

The £250,000 fine is half of the maximum monetary penalty the ICO can issue to companies that fall foul of the Data Protection Act (DPA). Sony’s PSN was breached and information on its 77 million users exposed.

"After careful consideration we are withdrawing our appeal," a statement from the firm read.

"This decision reflects our commitment to protect the confidentiality of our network security from disclosures in the course of the proceeding. We continue to disagree with the decision on the merits."

The ICO responded to the decision and said that it welcomed “Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited’s decision not to appeal our penalty notice following a serious breach of the Data Protection Act."

The ICO recently hit defunct Trust NHS Surrey with a £200,000 fine for failing to dispose of old computer equipment properly. Nearly 3,000 patient records were found on a computer bought from an online auction site.

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