Ashley Madison’s $11.2million porn catastrophe

An online dating website called Ashley Madison was hacked, causing the website owner to pay out US$11.2million to settle US litigation, due to leaked user information.

The website marketed people married or in committed relationships, and saw over 37 million accounts breached, exposing users personal data, including addresses and sexual interests.

The “cheaters list” was accessible through Google, causing at least two suicides, a number of divorces and blackmail attempts.

Jim Killock, Director of Digital Liberties Advocacy Organisation, Open Rights Group, warned in a statement: “Age verification could lead to porn companies building databases of the UK’s porn habits, which could be vulnerable to Ashley Madison style hacks. The government has repeatedly refused to ensure that there is a legal duty for age verification providers to protect the privacy of web users.

“Age verification risks failure as it attempts to fix a social problem with technology. In their recent manifestos, all three main political parties called for compulsory sex and relationship education in schools. Sex education would genuinely protect young people, as it would give them information and context.”

According to Business Finder, court papers also show that lawyers for Ashley Madison users could receive up to one-third of the US$11.2 million payout to cover legal fees.

Written by Leah Alger

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