Sony opts out of Data Theft congressional hearing

Sony may know all about the dangers of data theft, but the company has declined to testify at an imminent US Congressional hearing on just that topic. "The Threat of Data Theft to American Consumers" is the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade's topic this Wednesday, but Sony declined an invite citing "an ongoing investigation." However, the company will be providing responses to questions posed by the subcommittee regarding the PlayStation Network data breach.

Originally Sony was to have until May 6 to respond, but having declined the invitation the subcommittee pulled that deadline forward to May 3, today. Sony says it will have its answers ready by the close of business, telling Bits that "we informed the committee that we could not appear as early as this Wednesday because of our ongoing intensive investigation and management of this criminal cyberattack."

According to Ken Johnson, senior adviser and spokesman for subcommittee chairperson Representative Mary Bono Mack, the group has "taken a pretty tough line with the company" and that "while we understand the company is going through a tough time with this, there are certain questions that need answering." The hearing will help determine whether US Congress should create a federal data breach notification law; Sony has been criticized for the delay in the PSN being taken offline and subsequently warning users that their account details had been stolen. However the company argued that it was only after lengthy forensic analysis that the data loss was confirmed.

Yesterday, Sony admitted that it had taken down Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and that around 12,700 credit card records had been stolen after the system had been hacked.