Lawyers get ready. The hack of Ashley Madison has caused turmoil internationally. The long term turmoil will be felt not only by those personally effected but also in the courtroom. In just one month, Ashley Madison and its Canadian parent company, Avid Life Media, are facing five class actions – two in California, one in Texas, one in Missouri and the biggest of them in Canada. These class actions focus on the failure of Ashley Madison to protect consumer information. One complaint alleges that internal discussions reveal that the company knew its internet security was flawed prior to the hack of 37 million user’s confidential information. Another complaint alleges that a customer paid a $19 fee to Ashley Madison to scrub her profile, only to learn that the company had not. And that will not be the end of it. Certainly, more suits will follow. One can expect that all types of emotional distress claims will be alleged and possibly wrongful death. I am not stating the legitimacy of these claims, but inventive lawyers can be found everywhere. Not to mention, the unquestionable increase in divorce actions that will be filed as a result of profiles being leaked.
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