Congress has been looking into the theft of millions of credit card numbers from Sony's PlayStation Network, and, until now, Sony has declined to testify about it.
That will change next week. Sony will send Tim Schaff, president of its international Sony Network Entertainment division, to Capitol Hill to appear before a Tuesday House subcommittee hearing examining the breach, according to a subcommittee spokesman. Playstation Network falls under the company's Network Entertainment division.
In April, hackers stole information from up to 77 million network subscribers. Earlier this month, a second data breach occurred, and Sony said information on up to 25 million Sony online customers had been stolen.
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, is holding a series of hearings on data security and had previously asked Sony to testify about the PlayStation Network breach. Sony declined, instead responding to the committee's questions in writing.
Today, Sony responded to the subcommittee's follow-up questions and agreed to send Schaff to the Hill next week, according to subcommittee aide Ken Johnson.
"While Chairman Bono Mack remains critical of Sony's initial handling of the data breaches, she also is appreciative that the company has now agreed to testify. The Chairman firmly believes that the lessons learned from both the Sony and Epsilon experiences can be instructive and guide us as we develop comprehensive data protection legislation. We expect to introduce that legislation, which will provide new safeguards for American consumers, in the next few weeks," Johnson wrote in an email to reporters.
A representative of Epsilon, the marketing company that lost the personal information of major retailers' customers in another massive data breach, will also testify at the hearing.
So far, Sony has essentially told the subcommittee that it doesn't know who perpetrated the attack, it notified customers as soon as it figured out what had happened, it's working with the FBI to investigate the hack, and it's taken added security measures since the initial breach.