Victims of the website Ashley Madison’s hacking scandal have reached a settlement worth a reported $11.2 million. The lawsuits were a result of a massive data breach that occurred to many of the site’s users in 2015. This is the latest setback for Ashley Madison, the controversial dating service of more than fifteen years.
The website’s database of nearly 37 million people at the time was hacked, which resulted in the high-profile lawsuits. The company that owns Ashley Madison, Ruby Corp, is responsible for the settlement payouts. When personal information was released to the public, users were infuriated. They were now exposed as married people seeking an affair and/or cheating.
At that time, the security breach resulted in more than just bad publicity for Ashley Madison; it ended in a sale of the company altogether. After that, the new owners dealt with another lawsuit regarding the same infraction. The company was forced to pay more than $1 million dollars to the Federal Trade Commission for its inadequate security protocols.
While the $11.2 million settlement sounds significant, it means that each user affected by the hack will only collect $3,500. Guessing by how many divorces may have resulted from the information’s release, members would have likely seeked a bigger payout. A judge has final say to approve the agreement later this month.
Ashley Madison History
The Ashley Madison Agency is a controversial dating service offered specifically for married individuals. Established in 2002, the site strongly encourages infidelity. The service has a huge following with more than 39 million current users worldwide. In addition to a number of lawsuits, Ashley Madison has a history riddled with contention. NBC refused to air an ad for the company during its Super Bowl broadcast in 2009. A year later, the company’s $10 million bid to re-name Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport was rebuffed. Despite multiple CEO changes and controversy, the site remains incredibly popular today.