A federal judge in California has rejected the request of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. to have a suit filed by some of its former employees dismissed. The legal action relates to the November 2014 data breach that occurred as the company prepared to release a controversial movie “The Interview”. It is believed that the responsibility for data theft lies with North Korea, prompted by the nature of the film which was based on the fictional death of that nation’s leader.
The primary allegation in this business litigation is that the company failed to protect the personal information of employees. Sony informed employees by letter of the potential theft of identification information from passports, Social Security details and driver’s licenses. It is also possible that financial and health information was compromised during the breach. The allegation of negligence was not tossed out, but the judge has dismissed some other claims, including alleged breach of contract on the part of Sony. Employees have indicated that the company failed to strengthen the security system due to the costs in spite of prior hacking actions. However, the judge indicated that proof of this claim wasn’t necessary for the suit to continue forward.
In similar situations, employees may face serious consequences because of poor information technology protocol. A company’s failure to maintain efficient security for its computer systems and data could allow the personal information of employees to be misused in situations like identity theft, financial transactions and blackmail. A business that stores personal information may be liable in such a situation.
An individual who becomes aware of a data breach at work may want to invest in identity protection services to guard against problems related to the situation. However, protective services might not be initiated until after damage has been done. In such a case, legal assistance might be important for bringing action against the responsible employer.