Due to a class-action lawsuit concerning Sony's 2011 data breach which led to the theft of names, addresses, and possible credit card data of its 77 million users, the company has agreed to a $15 million preliminary settlement.
The security breach took place in April 2011 and shut down the PlayStation Network for several weeks.The company did apologize in May of that year and offered PSN users free games, but some customers did not see this as enough, which brought on the class-action lawsuit. Sony was also fined 250,000 British Pounds ($396,000) in the UK for breach of the Data Protection Act.
The settlement, which has yet to receive approval from the judge, would entail offering plaintiffs free PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable games, free PS3 themes, free subscriptions of PlayStation Plus, free subscriptions to the Music Unlimited service, and free SOE Station cash.
Claims made by those who did not participate in PlayStation's "Welcome Back" package, which offered PSN members free games as thanks for their loyalty after the breach, will be honored on a first-come, first-serve basis, subject to an aggregate cap of $6 million. Claimants will be able to choose from two separate benefit options or two instances of one PSN benefit option.
Those who did participate in the "Welcome Back" package will be eligible to receive a game benefit, a theme benefit, or a PlayStation Plus subscription benefit which will also be honored on a first-come, first-serve basis to an aggregate cap of $4 million.
The final fairness hearing in which a judge will approve or disapprove the settlement will be held May 1, 2015.