Senate Dem says Sony's response is 'strong first step'

Sony's offer of one year of free credit monitoring services and identity theft insurance for customers impacted by the recent data breaches is a "strong first step" towards remedying the potential harm for up to 100 million consumers, according to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

“I welcome Sony’s strong first step toward protecting millions of consumers whose personal and financial information has been compromised,” Blumenthal said.

“While I continue to believe that Sony should have warned users earlier, I am pleased they are providing protective measures including an insurance policy to cover identity theft harms to consumers within a 12-month window – but I would hope Sony would extend coverage over a longer time on a case-by-case basis if necessary.”

Blumenthal was one of the first lawmakers to contact Sony following the breach on April 19 that brought down the PlayStation Network. He has criticized the firm for waiting almost a week before notifying customers that their personal information and credit card data may have been breached.

Sony Computer Entertainment president Kazuo Hirai said in a letter that the delay was due to the firm's ongoing investigation of the incident. Hirai said Sony feared releasing incomplete information that would force consumers to take unnecessary actions. Sony maintains there is no evidence credit card numbers were stolen.

“Sony’s response to preventing similar attacks in the future could serve as a model for other companies facing similar criminal hacking,” Blumenthal said.

“The crime perpetrated on Sony and PlayStation Network users is part of a larger troubling trend of cybercrime, and a reminder that our laws and data security resources must keep pace with advancing technology."

Blumenthal's response to Sony's explanation is noticeably more upbeat than Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), who suggested on Thursday that the delay in notification was due to Sony putting itself ahead of its customers.