Sony hit with another lawsuit by two former employees
In a suit similar to one filed on Monday, two former Sony employees are suing Sony Pictures Entertainment for not only failing to protect their private information but also putting employees at risk by moving forward with The Interview while knowing it would cause backlash.
In Tuesday’s suit, Susan Dukow and Yvonne Yaconelli claimed that executives had “expressed apprehension” about The Interview, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The suit claims that the original script included a fake villain, but that Sony “specifically” changed the script to make that villain Kim Jong-un.
Dukow and Yaconelli’s lawyer, Neville Johnson, claims that Sony was aware that there was “real and imminent risk of backlash” if they decided to move forward with The Interview, pointing to the Center for Korean-American Peace leader ‘s public criticism of the film, and North Korea’s U.N. ambassador equating it to “an act of war.”
They say “Sony’s actions and inactions related to the forthcoming release of The Interview created an unreasonable risk” that employees’ private information would be exposed.
The suit also addresses the company’s failure to protect private employee information, including their Social Security numbers, salaries, and medical history. It claims that the company was warned “multiple times” that its security policies were inadequate, pointing to several prior instances when the company was hacked, including 2011’s hacking of PlayStation Network.
“Upon information and belief, prior to the Breach, Sony was aware of reports that it was vulnerable to a security threat and that it could do more to reduce specific attacks,” the suit claims. It adds that the company stored thousands of passwords in a file named “password” and “failed to effectively encrypt sensitive information.”
The suit claims that Sony Pictures Entertainment violated the California Data Breach Act, the Constitutional Invasion of Privacy and the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act. Dukow and Yaconelli are seeking unspecified monetary damages.
A rep for Sony did not immediately return EW’s request for comment.