GAMING giant Sony has been fined £250,000 (€297,000) by the data watchdog for a breach that compromised the personal information of millions of PlayStation users.
Personal information including customers' payment card details, names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth and account passwords were exposed.
David Smith, ICO deputy commissioner and director of data protection, said: "If you are responsible for so many payment card details and log-in details, then keeping that personal data secure has to be your priority.
In this case that just didn't happen, and when the database was targeted - albeit in a determined criminal attack - the security measures in place were simply not good enough.
"There's no disguising that this is a business that should have known better. It is a company that trades on its technical expertise, and there's no doubt in my mind that they had access to both the technical knowledge and the resources to keep this information safe."
The ICO added that following the breach, Sony rebuilt its Network Platform to ensure that the personal information it processes is kept secure.
Sony temporarily shut down its network, a system that links gamers worldwide in live play, after discovering the massive security breach.
The company said at the time that personal data from 77 million users of Sony's PlayStation network had been compromised. Users were all asked to change their passwords following the breach.
Sony faced heavy criticism over its handling of the network intrusion, as it did not notify consumers of the breach until a week after it began investigating unusual activity.