The extramarital affair dating site Ashley Madison asked users to pay $20 to delete their profiles, but actually kept private data — including names and addresses — which was recently stolen by hackers.
UPDATE: Ashley Madison MDL Grows As More Lawsuits Filed
January 7, 2016 — Twenty people in Missouri have joined a lawsuit against Ashley Madison. The cases will be transferred to a centralized federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2669) under Judge John A. Ross in the Eastern District of Missouri. Click here to read more.
August 19, 2015 — Hackers have dumped 9.7-gigabytes of data from 32 million Ashley Madison users on the dark web, including account information and credit card / payment transaction details for seven years dating back to 2007. Names, addresses, email addresses, and transaction amounts linked to credit card numbers were released. Click here to read more.
August 11, 2015 — The infidelity website Ashley Madison may have used misleading tactics to gain millions of users’ trust and provide personal data, according to a new in-depth analysis. Click here to read more.
Online activity is never truly private, but many adult-oriented websites market themselves as “discreet” and give users the option of deleting their profiles, messages, photos, site usage history, and other personally-identifiable information.
What is the problem?
Ashley Madison is a dating website that helps facilitate extra-marital affairs. The website offers users free “guest” accounts, but directs members to pay $20 for a “Full Delete” when they try to remove their profile. In 2014, Ars Technica ran an article showing how Ashley Madison tricks users into thinking they need to pay to delete their profile.
Ashley Madison Hackers Threaten to Post Data and “Secret Sexual Fantasies”
In July 2015, a hacker group calling themselves “The Impact Team” broke into the site and compromised user data, including full names and addresses of users who paid for the “Full Delete.”
Hackers threatened to post the information publicly, including “secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions” unless Ashley Madison was taken offline by its parent company, Avid Life Media (ALM). They warned:
“Full Delete netted ALM $1.7mm in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie. Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed.”
The site was not taken down, but in a token gesture of apology, ALM allowed Ashley Madison users to “Full Delete” their data for free. Unfortunately, deleting information now won’t do any good if hackers have already stolen your data.
Ashley Madison Hacking Lawyers
There is no excuse for extortion of private information, and there is no going back once that information is online. If you paid to have your Ashley Madison deleted, you may have been a victim of consumer fraud.
Our lawyers are currently investigating a class action lawsuit against Avid Life Media (ALM), the highly-profitable parent company of Ashley Madison. You could be eligible for compensation for the loss of your privacy, and more.
Ashley Madison Sued for “Fake Female Profiles”
ALM is no stranger to litigation. In 2012, they were hit with a $20 million lawsuit for “unjust enrichment” after a Brazilian employee injured herself while typing up 1,000 fake female profiles in a new Portuguese-language version of the website.