Since the large-scale August 19th data breach revealing millions of user profiles and email addresses from the Ashley Madison online dating site, we have found and blocked a surge in email spam activity related to the Ashley Madison data breach. In light of the failure to be open about personal information handling practices, it is relevant to consider whether the consent obtained by ALM for the collection of users’ personal information was valid, and additionally, whether it was obtained through deception. The parent company of , a dating site that brazenly declares Life is short. In our view, it is not reasonable that personal information of users whose accounts are deactivated is required to be kept indefinitely.

The FTC and the States focused on both deceptive claims made in its advertising and marketing, as well as on Ashley Madison’s security practices. As noted in paragraph 51 above, at the time of the data breach the front page of the Ashley Madison Ashley website prominently displayed a series of trust-marks which conveyed a high level of security and discretion for the site. First, ALM said that it was necessary to retain user information to preserve ‘header information’ in messages that had been sent to other users.

ALM does take some steps to address the issue of non-users’ email addresses being inaccurately associated with Ashley Madison. The global ratio between male and female customer accounts for Ashley Madison was 1:1.13. The site’s name was made up of the two most popular names for baby girls in the US at the time – Ashley and Madison. The firm is a leader in its field and for the fourth consecutive year has been ranked by Computerworld magazine in a survey of more than 4,000 corporate privacy leaders as the top law firm globally for privacy and data security.

According to media outlets , creating an account was free but user had to pay to play, so to speak, forking over anywhere from $49 to $249 to "initiate contact" with female profiles. Remember: If you receive an email asking for money in exchange for having your Ashley Madison details deleted, it’s nothing more than a scam. The hackers said they were upset about Ashley Madison’s business practices, such as overstating how many women really used the website.

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