The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is to investigate Sony over the ongoing hacking scandal on PlayStation Network, it has been confirmed.
ICO is a non-departmental public body reporting directly to Parliament and deals primarily with the Data Protection Act and other related legislation.
Speaking to sister siteEurogamer, officials have confirmed that it will investigate Sony in order to discover whether proper security safeguards were taken.
"The Information Commissioner's Office takes data protection breaches extremely seriously," said a representative. "Any business or organisation that is processing personal information in the UK must ensure they comply with the law, including the need to keep data secure.
"We have recently been informed of an incident which appears to involve Sony. We are contacting Sony and will be making further enquiries to establish the precise nature of the incident before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken by this office."
Although the exact nature and sophistication of the hacker attack is not clear the fact that Sony has already confirmed that passwords, and user data such as names and addresses, have been obtained implies that they were not properly encrypted - or not encrypted at all.
The latter in particular could cause Sony considerable legal and publicity problems if true, although currently much of customer's anger is directed at the perceived slowness of the company's approach to the problem and the lack of information on the breach.