Judge dismisses claims in PlayStation hacking class action lawsuit

A U.S. judge has dismissed a number of claims made by a class action lawsuit against Sony over the 2011 security breach of the PlayStation Network.

The class action lawsuit filed on behalf of PlayStation Network users claims that the company failed to protect the personal data of its users after a security breach that occurred between April 16-17, 2011. Hackers gained access to the personal data of millions of PSN users, exposing more than 69 million personal and credit card accounts. The service was subsequently closed for a month by Sony while it investigated the security breach.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia dismissed several claims made by the plaintiff, such as claims of negligence, unjust enrichment, bailment and violations of California consumer protection statutes.

The negligence claim was dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiff attempted to "plead around the contract with SNE [Sony Network Entertainment America], which expressly disclaims any guarantees of uninterrupted service or perfect security".

The judge also said that Sony did not violate consumer protection laws because "none of the named plaintiffs subscribed to premium PSN services, and thus received the PSN services free of cost."

The claim of bailment was also dismissed because: "as plaintiffs freely admit, plaintiff's personal information was stolen as a result of a criminal intrusion of Sony's Network. Plaintiffs do not allege that Sony was in any way involved with the data breach ... thus, there are no allegations of conversion or any other intentional conduct by Sony that would indicate that Sony sought to unlawfully retain possession of plaintiff's personal information."

Judge Battaglia gave the class an option to amend its claims for injunctive relief and violation of consumer protection law. The complete court document can be read here.

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