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Taipei demands answers for Sony, threatens fines

City officials want an explanation on the PlayStation Network outage "from start to finish"

The city of Taipei is demanding that Sony provide details about any leak of PlayStation Network user data following an intrusion last week or face fines.

As pressure mounts internationally against Sony over the failure of its PlayStation Network online gaming service, the Taiwan capital's Law and Regulation Commission said late on Thursday it had sent the Japanese company a letter asking it to explain the incident "from start to finish" and any proposed follow-up measures.

The letter was sent on Wednesday and gives Sony 10 days to respond. If it fails to reply in time, it would be fined between NT$30,000 (US$1,044) and NT$300,000 for alleged breaches of local consumer protection laws, the commission said in a statement.

"Manufacturers and service providers should take responsibility for their customers' reasonable expectations of security, including personal information security," the statement said.

"This incident may involve leaks of consumer names, e-mails, birth dates and even credit card information," the statement said, citing commission Chairman Yeh Ching-yuan. He said the commission is worried a theft of credit cards numbers could damage consumer credit lines and affect credit records.

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

Sony's PlayStation Network and its Qriocity audio and video service went offline on April 21 local time, and two days later the company said it had disconnected the service after an intrusion.

Personal information about the 77 million PlayStation Network customers worldwide may have been exposed, the company has also said. The network and Qriocity could be down for several more days.

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