Sony drops fine appeal; agrees to pay £250,000

July 12th, 2013

Sony is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Ranked 87th on the 2012 list of Fortune Global 500, it is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products. Back in April 2011, Sony’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity online music and video service were compromised after an external intrusion into their network. The company was hit with £250,000 fine by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) because of the data breach incident in 2011.

Sony has decided not to appeal the fine imposed by the ICO and agrees to pay £250,000 as a fine. Earlier when ICO had imposed the fine on the company, they had appealed for it explaining that the exposure of users’ data was the result of a “focused and determined criminal attack”.

The Japanese electronic giant further says that their decision to pay the fine was taken not because they agree with the ICO’s decision but because Sony fears that the appeal procedure will reveal information related to their security procedures. The ICO confirms that Sony will drop its appeal via Twitter.

“It is a company that trades on its technical expertise, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they had access to both the technical knowledge and the resources to keep this information safe” ICO deputy commissioner David Smith said when announcing the fine.

Sony spokesperson said “After careful consideration we are withdrawing our appeal. 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”.

ICO welcomes Sony’s decision, saying “We welcome Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited’s decision not to appeal our penalty notice following a serious breach of the Data Protection Act.”


The Sony PlayStation Network and Qriocity online music and video service were compromised sometime between April 16 and April 19 in 2011 after an external intrusion into the network. Sony temporarily turned off both services to prevent any more attacks. Personal information belonging to 77 million account holders had been stolen. The information included names, addresses, log-in and password credentials, password security answers, email addresses, and birth dates. User purchase history and credit card information might had been compromised.


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Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

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