Ashley Madison Parent in $11.2 Million Settlement Over Data Breach

Andrew Cummings
July 17, 2017

It's been nearly two years since extramarital affair website Ashley Madison was hacked and had its members' details exposed online.

The owner of the Ashley Madison adultery website said on Friday it will pay $11.2 million (roughly Rs. 72 crores) to settle United States litigation brought on behalf of roughly 37 million users whose personal details were exposed in a July 2015 data breach.

"Hackers had stolen 37 million records of customers, which apparently included "all the customers" secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions". Meaning that even if a person's name did appear in the data dump, they might not have been an Ashley Madison member, apparently. The hacking triggered extortion crimes and led to unconfirmed reports of suicides. Avid Life Media and Avid Dating Life have rebranded as Ruby Corp. and Ruby Life, respectively.

Lawsuits against the company alleged that Ashley Madison used inadequate data security practices and failed to protect user information, a serious issue especially concerning the nature of the service.

On Friday it claimed that an agreement to settle multiple class action lawsuits had been reached and that the £8.5m fund would be available to those who "submit valid claims for alleged losses resulting from the data breach".

"The parties have agreed to the proposed settlement in order to avoid the uncertainty, expense, and inconvenience associated with continued litigation", said Ruby Life in a statement. Since July 2015, ruby also has implemented numerous remedial measures to enhance the security of its customers' data. The website suggests that Ashley Madison has more than 52 million members.

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