Sony ordered to pay in data breach settlement

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Sony ordered to pay in data breach settlement

LOS ANGELES - A judge on Wednesday approved a multimillion dollar settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed by former Sony Pictures Entertainment employees whose private information was stolen in a massive data breach. The U.S. government blamed the hack on North Korea, which is believed to have wanted to derail the release of the North Korean-focused comedy “The Interview.”

U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner approved the agreement that gives roughly 437,000 victims identity theft protection from the time of the 2014 hack through 2017. Under the deal, Sony agreed to provide identity theft protection, optional service covering up to $1 million in losses and create a fund to cover any additional losses.

An exact figure for the settlement is not yet available, since a deadline for workers to sign up for credit protection and reimbursement hasn’t yet passed. Klausner noted that three years of free credit monitoring exceeds the benefit given in many data breach cases.

To date, Sony has committed $7 million to notify people affected by the breach and establish a fund to reimburse them for uncovered identity theft losses. That figure doesn’t account for millions of dollars Sony has committed to pay for credit monitoring services and plaintiffs’ attorney fees.

So far, 18,000 people have signed up for the optional service, which retails for $350.

Sony will pay far less for the service, attorneys said Wednesday. Klausner will decide how much plaintiffs’ attorneys are paid at a later date.

Hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace broke into company computers and released thousands of emails, documents and sensitive personal information.

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