Ashley Madison facing lawsuit over data hack

As the fallout from the Ashley Madison data breach continues, one individual is suing the company for negligence.

A California male has filed a lawsuit with the US District Court against Ashley Madison and its parent company Avid Life Media, claiming that he has experienced emotional distress.

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It accuses the website, which uses the slogan “life is short, have an affair,” of failing to protect user data and allowing sensitive information of a personal and financial nature to be leaked online. The lawsuit also proposes that Ashley Madison could have implemented more robust security features to protect users, including data encryption.

Ashley Madison was the victim of the high-profile hack in July by a group known as The Impact Team. Initially just the first names of users were posted online, but last week the hackers released all user data and even customers that had paid the site $19 to have their information deleted found their details released. In total, data relating to 37 million Ashley Madison users was posted online.

It remains to be seen whether the lawsuit proves successful but if it is, the website is likely to be inundated by similar claims by other users affected by the data breach.

In related news, reports are emerging that two Ashley Madison users have committed suicide following the hack. Toronto Police’s Bryce Evans revealed that officers are taking the data breach extremely seriously and are investigating the wider hacking community for information relating to The Impact Team.

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"I want to make it very clear to you your actions are illegal and we will not be tolerating them,” Mr Evans said, addressing the hackers. “This is your wake-up call.”