The Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K. has confirmed that it will tear Sony a new one over the loss of private PSN customer data, or at the very least ask a few pointed questions about it.
In the wake of the great PSN Data Dump of Ought-Eleven, U.K. consumers group Gamers’ Voice asked the Information Commissioner’s Office to investigate how such a huge and potentially damaging leak of information could occur and whether Sony had done all it could to give consumers a heads-up that they could be at risk.
“The response by Sony to this situation is at best disappointing and at worse dangerous as it has left up to 75 million customers at risk of identity theft and fraud,” Gamers’ Voice chairman Paul Gibson told Eurogamer. “While the Playstation Network being down for the better part of the week is unfortunate, it is the continuous lack of information being provided to gamers on the potential loss of their personal details which is most worrying.”
Gibson said he wants the ICO to “force some answers” out of Sony and the ICO is apparently happy to do just that. “The Information Commissioner’s Office takes data protection breaches extremely seriously,” the agency said. “Any business or organization that is processing personal information in the U.K. must ensure they comply with the law, including the need to keep data secure.”
“We have recently been informed of an incident which appears to involve Sony,” it continued. “We are contacting Sony and will be making further inquiries to establish the precise nature of the incident before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken by this office.”
The Information Commissioner’s Office promotes and upholds privacy and access to information rights for individuals, and in 2010 was given the authority to levy fines in cases of privacy law violations. It issued the first such fine in November 2010, imposing a £100,000 ($165,000) penalty against the Hertfordshire County Council after it mistakenly faxed two separate documents pertaining to a child sex abuse case to the wrong recipients.