New terms added to Sony’s PlayStation Network online gaming network could ban users from connecting to the service unless they agree to accept new clauses that protects the Japanese electronics giant from class action lawsuits brought as a result of a security breach.
The BBC reports that the new terms are now live for all PlayStation users and will be displayed next time they log in to the service, a move that has seen Sony increase protection and safeguard itself from online attacks that were brought against it by online collectives LulzSec and Anonymous.
Gamers will have the option to opt out of the agreement within thirty days, but to play on the PlayStation Network users must agree to the terms to begin with. Once agreed, users will not be able to bring a class action lawsuit against Sony, instead they will have to resolve legal issues with an arbitrator chosen by the company, before being able to file action against it.
The new clauses, dubbed “Binding Individual Arbitration,” state that “any Dispute Resolution Proceedings, whether in arbitration or court, will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class or representative action or as a named or unnamed member in a class, consolidated, representative or private attorney general action”.
Those that want to opt out will have to send a letter to Sony’s Los Angeles headquarters in the US. Once they do, the subscribers will be able to keep their right to file a class action lawsuit without any need for arbitration.
But before subscribers have a chance to opt out, they will still be required to agree to the new terms the next time they log into their accounts.
Between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity user accounts were compromised in an online attack, which became the start of a dedicated campaign to compromise numerous Sony websites worldwide.
The company recently hired Philip Reitinger, a former official at the U.S Department of Homeland Security, as its new chief information security officer to protect the company from online threats, reporting to general counsel Nicole Seligman, reinforcing the company’s defences to prevent future attacks.