Sony pays $11m to settle with staff over hack

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Sony pays $11m to settle with staff over hack

Will reimburse workers over data breach.

Sony Pictures has agreed to pay up to US$8 million (A$11 million) to resolve a lawsuit by employees who claimed their personal data was stolen in a 2014 hacking tied to the studio's release of the movie The Interview.

The settlement between the Sony subsidiary and current and former employees was disclosed in papers filed on Monday in federal court in Los Angeles.

Under the deal, Sony will pay up to US$2.5 million, or US$10,000 per person, to reimburse employees for identity theft losses, and up to US$2 million, or US$1000 per person, to reimburse them for protective measures they took after the cyber attack.

Sony has also agreed to pay up to US$3.49 million to cover legal fees and costs, according to court papers. The settlement must be approved by US District Judge Gary Klausner.

Neither Sony nor a lawyer for the plaintiffs immediately responded to requests for comment.

The Interview starred Seth Rogen and James Franco, and depicted the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Sony shelved the movie's wide theatrical release after the hacking, which surfaced in November and drew international attention. It later offered the movie through digital downloads.

The attack, which US officials blamed on North Korean hackers, wiped out massive amounts of data and led to the online distribution of emails, sensitive employee data and pirated copies of new movies.

The lawsuit was filed soon after by former employees who contended Sony's negligence caused them economic harm by forcing them to beef up credit monitoring to address their greater risk of identity theft.

In June, Klausner rejected Sony's bid to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the employees could pursue their claims that Sony was negligent and violated a California confidentiality law.

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