Gaming Nexus debate: The PSN Data Breach


posted 5/4/2011 by Jeremy Duff
other articles by Jeremy Duff
One Page Platforms: PS3 PSP
What do you think they can do now to best recover from this entire debacle?

Tina Amini: Recovery will be a long process. Firstly, they'd be very lucky if everyone's credit card information has not been revealed. Although having your name, address and birth date revealed to a hacker with who knows what kind of intentions isn't exactly the most ideal situation to be in, a credit card indiscretion would be far worse. Regardless, they obviously have to let go of concerns of things like DRM protection and focus more on their own security that can potentially (and clearly has) affect their user base. They would also benefit from now being more transparent with the public. Being left in the dark is not helping anyone's affection towards Sony.

Ben Berry: Provide credit insurance to all affected customers. It gives customers free access to their credit reports and any credit inquiries made in their name. And that's just step one. Then provide public details ensuring encryption of customer data. And offer some free time on the service too.

The Rational...
Shawn Sines: Fix the issue, stand up the service and work with customers to understand the situation. In the case of the PCI (Payment Card Industry) information that might have been exposed - well credit monitoring would be nice but impractical and mostly ineffective. They
need to work with the merchants to get those numbers deactivated and reissued ASAP.

Matt Mirkovich: First of all, get PSN back online ASAP, and provide more transparency going forward. Some updates to the status of PSN coming back online via blog posts can go a long way to rebuilding user trust, and it's good to see that they have at least done that. Also reach out to groups that found their security flaws and request their assistance in helping them build a stronger network for all users, rather than chase after them with lawyers. There is a laundry list of things that Sony can do, but at the end of the day they'll have to make their shareholders happy first and their customers somewhere down around ninth or tenth, depending on where that falls between making a new Kevin Butler commercial and filing a missing person's report for Marcus.

Jeremy Duff: Two words: Move forward. It has happened... there is nothing that can be done about the past. Sony needs to simply batten down the hatches and relaunch a secure and working service. They just need to make sure that they make sure their customers know that they have taken the issue seriously and ensure that they will do everything in their power to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Also, I think that they need to find those responsible for this “breach” and make an example out of them... legally speaking of course.

Russell Archey: Definitely begin (if they haven't already) encrypting all customer data that comes through, including passwords, credit card data, and even addresses. You can't be too secure these days.

John Yan: Pretty much just suck up to everybody. They tried to be so arrogant when they first started marketing the PS3 that it left a bad taste in a lot of people mouths. And then they win some folks back with some good games and now this happens. They need to be humble and continue to try and make the best games out there for the system.

The Unconcerned...
Charles Husemann: Time heals all wounds right? Something like this was bound to happen to one of the online services and Sony made themselves a prime target because of the whole Alternate OS/GeoHot fiasco.

Will this effect their E3 showing(s)?

We’re All In Agreement Here...
Tina Amini: Sony will undoubtedly have a statement of some sort at E3 in regard to this situation. Given their track record, however, they'll be unlikely to allow further discussion. I imagine that no one will resist focusing on the current breach in security, but Sony will most likely resist that angle of discussion. I wouldn't be surprised if they appeared with smiling faces and attempted to turn everyone's attention to their tablet.

Shawn Sines: It won't aside from some whining by those who choose to tilt at this windmill in a few months. Is it bad that this happened? Sure! Will they need to make changes to better protect the network and the customers? Absolutely! Does it really impact the games the company will make or deliver in the next 18 months? Why should it?

Matt Mirkovich: If they allow it to. If they want to discuss it during their keynotes then that is their prerogative, but overall I think they just need to bring strong games to this year's E3 and move on. The press will possibly use this event as a forum to discuss what happened, and people will use the event as an excuse to potentially disrupt Sony in some fashion, but overall I expect E3 to be all about the games.

Charles Husemann: I'm sure this will be mentioned at some point and I think Sony will have to spend at least 5-10 minutes now addressing the new measures they've put into place to protect consumer information. Guessing Microsoft will take at least one or two shots at them during their presentation as well. Nintendo would but I still think they are trying to figure out this whole online thing still.

Ben Berry: Anything that is PSN specific will probably take a significant hit in interest, but I'm guessing they'll still show it unless it's something that's only on the network and not a game related experience.

Jeremy Duff: While it will undoubtedly be the “800 pound gorilla” in the room, I don’t expect it to steal any spotlight. I expect Nintendo and Microsoft to take their digs at Sony and for Sony to even attempt to mock their selves. There will be another official statement made during their presser, but hopefully it is something that they get out of the way right up front and move onto the good stuff such as NGP and new games...

Russell Archey: Not hugely. With E3 right around the corner I wouldn't be surprised if they take a bit of time to talk about it at their presentation. It could actually help Microsoft as they could now mention something to gamers along the lines of how your information is better encrypted or safer with Microsoft.

John Yan: I would say so. They would have to address this issue and that is taking time away or pushing the press conference longer to have to deal with this issue. I'm sure they'll get plenty of questions from journalists at their appointments about this as well.

Do you feel that PSN users are entitled to any sort of compensation for this experience?

High Maintenance...
Tina Amini: I don't think compensation in the form of games, etc. will be enough to heal this wound. Sony needs to rethink their business, and obviously their security plans. They need to ensure that they're putting more effort into the concerns of their users rather than the concerns of their wallet. But perhaps PlayStation Plus free for a year might help ease the pains.

John Yan: Of course. You advertise a feature and you take away a feature that's pretty big, you should be compensated. Then again they took away a few PS3 features, but online gaming and purchases are pretty big for the console. If you can't play some games you purchased in the way you want to, then yes you deserve compensation.

Matt Mirkovich: Provide some compensation to PSN Plus subscribers. As for free users, offer a sale or something as a sign of apology, this will make the sting of not being able to enjoy some big titles like Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat online a little easier to handle. While I don't think they are absolutely required to do this, it would be a nice attempt to reach out to people who feel they are owed something. Though to be perfectly honest I would be surprised if they do anything at all.

Charles Husemann: Entitled no, expected yes. Sony updated their blog with information today that they are considering something. MS gave away one free XBLA game for their holiday outage a few years ago so there is an expectation amongst gamers that they deserve something. Guessing that free credit monitoring, and a few other goodies are in the works but we'll see.

Jeremy Duff: Not necessarily, though I am sure that Sony is preparing to make amends with free products and services across their various offerings. The only thing that I want, or expect, is compensation for the time I lost on my subscription services, particularly Netflix and PS+. As long as I get an extension on each of those services for the amount of time that I was without them (ok, maybe not Netflix), I won’t have any complaints.

Russell Archey: Yes and no. I can't see anything really big being done (maybe some free time with Playstation Plus) but I can see customers expecting something like free games and such. I've seen plenty of comments on various articles about the issue where people were downright ticked off with Sony about this (and reasonably so given the circumstances), and I wouldn't be surprised if they pretty much demand compensation.

Shawn Sines: PSN users.. who pay nothing? No. Though those who were denied access to subscription services like Plus should receive credit for the time lost and those who are Hulu Plus subscribers should also get time added to their billing cycle for the outage. Netflix still worked during the outage, despite complaining at you beforehand so that might qualify as well. To foster good will, maybe Sony could give all registered users some digital credit int he PSN Store.. since that won't necessarily cost them any real currency and could go a long way to rebuilding customer good will. (I like the idea of getting a free PlayStation One title as compensation for instance or give everyone a free month of PlayStation Plus - it could also serve to turn this into a good marketing opportunity for the subscription service.)

You know how we feel about the issue, now let us know what you are thinking. Please feel free to log into below and leave us a comment on your opinion and position on this issue. I would also like to give a special “thank you” to fellow staff member Tina Amini for helping me put all of this together.

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