Sony is still trying to make up to the customers of its PlayStation Network and Qriocity for the April breach in which millions of PSN accounts were hacked, by extending its free offer to sign up for the AllClear ID Plus Identity Theft Protection plan until July 31.
Additionally, Sony has responded by putting into play a “Welcome Back” program consisting of “free region-dependent downloads, 30 days of free access to PlayStation Plus to all users, and an additional free day of access to PlayStation Plus and Qriocity subscribers for each day that the PlayStation Network is down.”
Initially users had until June 28th to sign up for the identity theft protection program, but Sony has announced that the deadline is now extended through July 31. Sony offered no explanation for the extension. I.D. theft protection plans are in the works for Latin America and Canada.
The AllClear ID Plus Identity Theft Protection offer is available to all U.S. based PlayStation Network users who held accounts before the April PSN debacle. The free protection lasts for one year from the time of sign up and will help safeguard users’ peace of mind with cyber monitoring and a $1 million insurance policy and, if need be, gives users access to investigators who can help them restore their identity.
The $1 million insurance coverage would provide financial payments to consumers to cover the costs of restoring their identity, including legal costs and lost wages, within a year after the consumer becomes a victim of identity theft.
Despite so many individuals’ personal information having been obtained by the hackers, digitalspy.com reports that “Sony stated that it has not received any indication from credit companies of an increase in fraudulent charges following the attack on PSN.”
Sony has been appropriately rueful since the breach, with Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, kicking off the Sony E3 2011 press conference with a candid, formal apology. The corporation received harsh criticism for its lax security allowing the breach to happen and for acting too slowly when it came to informing customers post-attack. Sony offered the AllClear Identity Theft Protection program to PSN customers when the company was unable to issue a guarantee that credit card information had not been stolen as a result of the attack.
According to the “Identity Fraud Survey Report,” published by Javelin Strategy & Research in February 2010, the number of identity fraud victims in the United States rose 12% last year, to 11.1 million adults. This is the highest level of fraud since the survey’s 2003 start.
Sony’s stock price is down this year by 30%. Aside from the PSN security disaster, it has struggled with production delays and loss of sales following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that wreaked havoc on supplier factories.