Taipei presses Sony for more information after PSN hack

The Taiwanese capital also wants answers from Apple about location data collected by iPhones and iPads

The city of Taipei has sought more help from Sony for PlayStation Network gamers whose personal details may have been leaked, an official said on Wednesday. Its Law and Regulation Commission has also demanded answers from Apple over allegations that it had recorded the locations of iPhone users.

Taipei is the latest government entity to grill the two tech firms to protect the privacy of citizens. If the companies do not respond satisfactorily to Taipei's requests within 10 days of receiving a letter, Taipei can issue a fine between NT$30,000 (US$1,036) and NT$300,000, said commission chief consumer protection officer Chen Pi-chu.

Sony has battled cyber-attacks since April, when its PlayStation Network was hacked and taken offline.

Although Sony responded to the city's initial 10-day request for information after the cyber-attacks exposed sensitive personal data about potentially millions of customers, the city is unsatisfied with the reply.

"We hope they can give us a more complete answer and a better protection guarantee," Chen said.

Sony's Taiwan offices had offered to extend PlayStation Network membership terms as compensation, the city commission said in a statement.

Since responding to the request from Taipei, Sony has announced varies compensation measures around the world, including paying for a period of identity theft protection and offering free games to affected customers.

The commission has no estimate on how many PlayStation users live in Taipei, but the 2.6 million population includes numerous online gamers.

The commission also questioned Apple after seeing media reports that the company may have collected personal location data on the users of iPhones and iPads. It sent Apple's Asia offices a letter on Friday asking for more than a denial, Chen said.

Apple has rejected the allegations in testimony in the U.S.

Chen said she expects Apple to answer rather than risk the fine.

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Tags ApplesonyiPhonedata protectionPhonesgamesconsumer electronicsonline services

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Ralph Jennings

IDG News Service
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