Canada Jumps On the PSN Bandwagon

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The Privacy Commission of Canada is the latest government agency to wag its finger at Sony, saying it will “look into” the PlayStation Network security breach and customer information theft.

It feels a bit like piling on, but the office of Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, says it is “looking into a massive privacy breach” at the PlayStation Network. “We are currently looking into this matter and are seeking information from Sony,” spokeswoman Valerie Lawton said in an email to the Edmonton Journal. “We will determine next steps once we have a full understanding of the incident.”

What those “next steps” might be are unclear, as the Commissioner does not have the power to impose penalties or award damages to aggrieved parties. The office isn’t entirely without influence, however; in 2009, a Privacy Commission report found that Facebook was in violation of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, which eventually led to numerous changes in its privacy policies. Lawton said Sony had not notified the Office of the Privacy Commissioner about the breach but added that it is not actually required to do so under PIPEDA.

Stoddard is actually a bit late to the party, as the U.S. and U.K. governments have already expressed their lack of amusement with Sony’s PSN antics. On April 26, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to SCEA CEO Jack Tretton calling for greater openness on the situation and protection for PSN users who suffer financial losses because of the breach, while a day later the Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K. said it would “make further inquiries to establish the precise nature of the incident before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken by this office.”

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