As part of Sony's efforts to make amends for its recent massive security breach, two of the company's divisions, Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment, are offering free identity-theft protection to eligible PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders.
Sony detailed the offer in an email to account holders Tuesday. "Sony has arranged, at no charge to eligible PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders, for twelve months of this service to be provided by Debix to those who choose to enroll," the e-mail explains. "In order to be eligible, account holders must be residents of the United States with active accounts as of April 20, 2011."
According to the special Sony page at the Debix web site, affected Sony account holders receive cyber monitoring services, actionable voice calls when an identity is found online, identity repair service when identity theft has occurred, and $1 million of identity theft insurance (which covers "certain fees, lost wages and fraud losses" related to recovering one's identity). The regular price for the service, called AllClear ID PRO, is $9.95 per month. A scaled-down version of the service is available free of charge.
The move comes over one month after a hacker attack caused an outage of the networks upon which it operates its PlayStation and Qriocity services; subsequent attacks followed. Sony did not tell customers about the cause of the outage until April 26. The company began restoring service on May 15. The PlayStation network has 77 million users and is the backbone of the online gaming services offered to owners of its PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles. Qrioity is Sony's cloud-based entertainment service. It launched in the U.S. in February and in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. in November.