Sony backs US cybersecurity legislation
Japan's Sony Corp., victim of one of the largest data breaches in history, voiced support on Wednesday for cybersecurity legislation being considered by the US Congress.
Tim Schaaff, president of Sony Network Entertainment International, also told a Senate panel that the level of activity on the PlayStation Network had returned to more than 90 percent of what it was before a series of cyberattacks that began in mid-April.
"Almost every day it seems a new story emerges about businesses, government entities, public institutions and individuals becoming victims of this cyber crime wave," Schaaff said in written testimony to a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on privacy and data security.
"If nothing else, perhaps the frequency, audacity and harmfulness of these attacks will help encourage Congress to enact new legislation to make the Internet a safer place for everyone," the Sony executive said.
"By working together to enact meaningful cybersecurity legislation we can limit the threat posed to us all," he said.
Schaaff said Sony supports data breach legislation that would ensure that consumers are notified in a timely fashion if their personal information has been compromised and are provided with free credit reporting.
"By simultaneously moving forward on data breach policies and legislation we can ensure that consumers are empowered with the necessary information and tools to protect themselves from these cyber criminals," Schaaff said.
Sony's PlayStation Network, its Qriocity music streaming service and Sony Online Entertainment were among the services targeted by hackers recently in cyberattacks and data breaches which compromised more than 100 million accounts.
Sony chairman and president Howard Stringer apologised to shareholders and customers on Tuesday for the massive online data theft, which helped drag the company's share price to a two-year low this month.
US senators have introduced a number of bills aimed at safeguarding personal information of consumers stored online.
The Data Security and Breach Notification Act would require businesses and nonprofits to put in place stronger security features for protecting sensitive data and to notify consumers in the event of a breach of their systems.
Consumers whose information was compromised would be entitled to receive free consumer credit reports or credit monitoring services for two years.
(c) 2011 AFP