Sony is working on an identity theft protection plan for its European customers similar to the one announced for the U.S. but says the process is taking longer because of all the individual countries involved.

PlayStation Network users in the U.S. got some good news yesterday when Sony announced that they were eligible for one year of AllClear ID Plus identity theft protection at no charge. The plan includes $1 million of insurance against identity theft; what it doesn’t include, however, is anything for customers outside the U.S. That did not go over particularly well with PSN customers in other parts of the world.

But have no fear! Sony is hard at work on something for its European customers too, it’s just taking a little longer because it’s a more complex situation. “As I have explained previously, creating a similar offering for the many countries within the SCEE [Sony Computer Entertainment Europe] region is a very complicated process,” Nick Caplin, SCEE’s head of communications, wrote on the European PlayStation Blog. “Each country has a different way of handling identity theft; some offer relatively sophisticated services whilst others are much more modest.”

“We are currently in the process of identifying how we manage this situation and once the program is ready to launch, we will provide details of exactly which services are available in each country and explain how to sign up,” he continued. “We hope to do this early next week.”

SCEE will also offer PS3 customers two free games from a list of five, while PSP customers can choose two freebies out of a list of four. The list of games to choose from has not yet been revealed.

None of this should come as any surprise. There was never any chance that Sony would give its European customers [and, presumably, those in other regions] the short shrift; yes, the U.S. got to go first but as Caplin noted, it’s one big region with the same laws across the board. It would be lovely if Sony could get every nation affected by the PSN outage squared away quickly and at the same time, but if there’s anything we should know by now, it’s that this mess is going to take some serious time to clean up.

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