Sony has been accused of purposefully delaying its public announcements regarding the extent of the PlayStation Network hack, with official Japanese government documentation suggesting that gaming chief Kaz Hirai gave incorrect information in his May 1 public statement. According to the report, which Kyodo news acquired under a freedom of information request, Sony internally confirmed on April 25 (US time) that a “fairly large amount of data” had been stolen by hackers; however, Sony’s press release the following day suggested only that the company could not “rule out the possibility” that personal data had been leaked.
Hirai’s inaccuracies, meanwhile, center around when the Consumer Products & Services Group president said Sony was aware of the breach. In his statement, Hirai had said that Sony discovered the data had been compromised on April 26 (US time), a day later than SCE’s official documentation submitted to the Japanese government indicates.
In its defense, Sony claims to have not wanted to “bewilder” its users by giving them information too early. “We hadn’t figured out [at that time] what kind of data had been leaked” a spokesperson suggests. “If only passwords and IDs [were breached], they cannot be considered personal information, and so we didn’t want to bewilder our customers.”
The Japanese government, Kyodo says, is looking into Sony’s timelines based around the “suspicion that the game unit of Sony Corp. deliberately attempted to downplay the seriousness of the situation by not fully disclosing information.”
Sony has attempted to placate gamers with its “Welcome Back” packages, consisting of free games, access to premium functionality, various downloads and a year’s subscription to a fraud protection service. However the company’s reputation has been further hit with subsequent hacks on various other systems, including Sony Pictures and Sony Music Japan.