Ashley Madison will pay $11.2 million to users for data breach

Cornelia Mascio
Luglio 17, 2017

The owner of the Ashley Madison adultery website said on Friday it will pay US$11.2 million to settle U.S. litigation brought on behalf of roughly 37 million users whose personal details were exposed in a July 2015 data breach.

Toronto-based Ruby Corp, which formerly traded as Avid Life Media, rejected any wrongdoing in agreeing to the initial settlement of the class action.

As Ashley Madison's Canadian owners, named Avid Life, did not close the website, the hackers made good on that threat - releasing 100 GB worth of sensitive data of those who used the website onto the dark web.

Many users have since sued the company for providing inadequate levels of data security and Ruby Life has been attempting to strike a deal with those involved.

Sensitive information, including photographs and "sexual fantasies", was leaked.

"If the proposed settlement agreement is approved by the Court, ruby will contribute a total of $11.2 million Dollars to a settlement fund, which will provide, among other things, payments to settlement class members who submit valid claims for alleged losses resulting from the data breach and alleged misrepresentations as described further in the proposed settlement agreement", it said. On Friday, they company reached a tentative settlement with potential plaintiffs, to the tune of $11.2 million.

Some of the fund will be used to compensate those with a "valid claim".

The FTC's complaint alleged that Ashley Madison falsely represented that it took "reasonable steps" to secure users' information, and that it lured people into signing up for memberships by showing them fake female profiles - which the company dubbed "engager profiles". Users who submit a valid claim that includes purchasing engager credits could receive up to $500.

However, "merely because a person's name or other information appears to have been released in the data breach does not mean that person actually was a member of Ashley Madison".

The company says that since July 2015, it has implemented "numerous remedial measures" to boost the security of customers' data.

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