By allowing millions of PlayStation Network users' personal info to be stolen, Sony caused no shortage of consternation and concern among its customers. As part of its make good for the mistake, the company today detailed a plan to give PSN users free enrollment in an identity theft protection program.
Sony has contracted with Debix, Inc. to provide all US-based PSN and Qriocity account holders with 12 months of coverage in the company's AllClearID Plus program at no cost to the users. The year-long term will begin upon registration with the program, with eligible users having until June 18 to sign up. Sony has said users should start to receive activation e-mails for the service in the coming days. As for users in other countries and territories, Sony said it is working to make similar programs available for them, although it did not indicate when such initiatives would be detailed.
The AllClearID Plus service includes an insurance policy to provide up to $1 million to cover the impact of identity theft, including legal defense fees and lost pay within a year of the PSN security breach. Additionally, the company will monitor "criminal websites and data recovered by law enforcement" for users' data. If that personal information is found, the user will receive a phone call or e-mail notifying them and suggesting protective steps. Additionally, customers whose information turns up during monitoring will be able to speak with AllClearID private investigators and specialists to assist in contacting creditors.
The personal information of 77 million PSN users was stolen by hackers in an April 20 attack on Sony's servers that prompted the company to take down PSN and Qriocity, as well as rebuild its network security. As of press time, both of those services remained down, although Sony indicated it was making progress on bringing them back online.
Sony Online Entertainment also lost customer information to a security breach, although the online game specialist has not provided a specific window for the return of its titles like Everquest and DC Universe Online.