Ex-Sony Employees Sue Over Leaked Emails

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on December 17, 2014 9:59 AM

Sony Pictures has been hit with multiple lawsuits related to the massive data breach recently suffered by the company.

On Monday, the company was sued by two former employees who claimed that they had personal information such as Social Security numbers and salary history made public as a result of the hack of Sony's computer networks last month, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Two more former Sony employees filed suit on Tuesday, seeking recovery for damages caused by the leak of their private information. Both lawsuits seek class action status for all those similarly affected by the data breach.

What does the latest lawsuit allege that Sony did wrong?

California Data Breach Act

According to the complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the plaintiffs claim that Sony violated California's Data Breach Act, which states that a "business that owns or licenses personal information about a California resident shall implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the information, to protect the personal information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure."

The lawsuit alleges that Sony failed to implement such reasonable security systems or procedures, and that this failure led to unauthorized disclosure of the plaintiff's personal information, including Social Security numbers, medical history, HR records, and financial information.

Increased Risk Caused by 'The Interview'

The lawsuit also alleges that Sony put the plaintiffs at unreasonable risk of having their personal data exposed by the production and planned release of "The Interview," a forthcoming film portraying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as the film's villain.

According to the lawsuit, the company acted negligently in proceeding with plans to release the movie despite knowing there was a "real and imminent risk of backlash" if they released it. Although the identity of those responsible for the hack that led to the data breach is still undetermined, it has been speculated the hack was perpetrated by North Korean hackers in retaliation for the portrayal of Kim Jong-un in "The Interview."

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