Sony requires waiver to class action lawsuits

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In April, Sony was the target of a large hacking attempt that left millions of users without access to the Playstation Network for several weeks.

Any user who used their credit card information through that system found themselves being warned of possible fraud.

According to various online news organizations and tech blogs, including www.cnet.com, consumers who use the online capabilities of their Playstation 3s have recently been forced to accept a software update that waives their right to a class action lawsuit if they wish to continue using Sony’s online services.

The waiver means that users cannot bring a lawsuit to court against Sony as a group instead of individually.

This mandatory update came less than six months after Sony suffered a massive security breach that left millions of their customers subject to credit card fraud and identity theft in April.

The waiver is included in the fine print of the update and alters the Playstation 3’s Terms of Service and User Agreement.

If the waiver is not accepted, the machine will not update and users will no longer have access to the Playstation Network that allows them to play games online, stream Netflix movies or do various other activities that require the machine to have access to the internet. Many of these features were the reason people bought a Playstation 3.

Customers who were exposed to this threat were later compensated with free video games and thirty free days of Playstation Network Plus, an upgraded subscription to said network.

In recent months, Sony has had numerous class action lawsuits filed against them in the aftermath of the hacking scandal from costumers seeking further compensation and tighter online security.

According to The New York Times, Sony did not publicly announce the waiver nor that it would be included in a system update.

Users were give the option to “opt out” of the waiver by writing a letter to Sony within thirty days of the update. If they did not take this option, all further disputes in a court of law against Sony must be taken on an individual basis only.

Although the class action lawsuits currently in session are not affected, many Sony customers must make a decision about the cost of online gaming and the risks involved.

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