Sony settles with FTC over rootkit charges

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that Sony has agreed to give customers up to $150 USD for damages caused to their computers by the rootkit it put on some CDs in an effort to combat piracy. Some 12 million CDs were shipped with the rootkit in 2005. Sony ended up with a huge scandal on its hands and customer computers suddenly were vulnerable to trojan horses.

As part of the settlement Sony must also allow customers to exchange affected CDs until the end of June, they must clearly label CDs with any limitations going forward, they cannot collect personal information for marketing and cannot install software without customer approval. It will also continue to provide patches and uninstall tools for another two years.

Sony has already paid out more than $4 million USD in settlements with some 40 US states.

Personally, I think that Sony got off lightly.

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