In what is seen as a major blow to Sony in a lawsuit filed by former employees, a US Judge has ruled against Sony's motion to dismiss the legal action, with the judge ruling that the case can go ahead as Sony was required to protect the personal information of employees.
The nine former employees acting as plaintiffs in the legal action, argued that Sony violated a California confidentiality law by failing to take preventive measures to protect their personal information against hackers, who later stole and published sensitive employment information.
The hackers, calling themselves Guardians of Peace, attempted to blackmail Sony into cancelling the release of the movie, The Interview, by threatening to publish the information it stole.
The plaintiffs argued that Sony knew its systems was vulnerable in 2014, but did nothing to address the issues, which left the systems vulnerable to hackers who broke in and later published employees' salary and health data, Social Security numbers and other sensitive information.
The judge ruled that Sony created a "special relationship" with its employees by requiring them to provide personal information to be eligible for salaries and benefits, as such it was required to safeguard that information. The ruling sets the stage for a showdown in the courts.
Source: BBC | Image via Sony