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Claims against Sony from PSN hack largely dismissed, 'no such thing as perfect security'

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A California district court judge is dismissing many of the biggest claims against Sony in a US class action lawsuit stemming from the April, 2011 hack of the company's PSN service. In a 36-page order, Judge Anthony Battaglia dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims that Sony acted negligently and violated California’s consumer protection laws, denying claims for both restitution and injunctive relief.

No evidence of a real economic loss

The plaintiffs claimed that despite earlier security breaches and a knowledge that its network was vulnerable to attack, Sony put their personal information at unnecessary risk by failing to implement industry standard safeguards. But Battaglia found that the plaintiffs have failed to show a clearly identifiable economic loss from the data breach, dashing hopes for a finding of negligence, although it will be possible for the plaintiffs to amend and resubmit.

As pointed out by Courthouse News Service, the judge found that because PSN service is free of charge, Sony hadn’t violated any consumer protection laws. He also found that because the users had all consented to Sony’s privacy policy, which stated that "there is no such thing as perfect security," there is no way that a reasonable consumer could have been deceived to expect uninterrupted service. While the plaintiffs will still be able to amend and resubmit some of their claims by November 9th, as Ars Technica points out, this ruling kills the majority of their most promising arguments against Sony.