Charney Lawyers along with Sutts, Strosberg LLP announced on Friday that they are leading the lawsuit on behalf of Canadians whose privacy was violated.
The targets of the lawsuit are Avid Dating Life and Avid Life Media which own Ashley Madison.
According to the lawyers’ statement, many former users of the website approached them asking about their privacy rights under Canadian law. One such person is the plaintiff Eliot Shore. This widower said he joined the site while seeking companionship after losing his wife to breast cancer, but did not cheat or meet any other member of the site.
The leaked data contains names, email addresses, home addresses and message histories of the site’s members.
The hackers, who are not part of the lawsuit, said they attacked the site as a punishment for charging users fees to delete their personal information from their databases, but not actually meeting their promise.
“The sensitivity of the information is so extreme and the repercussions of this breach are so extreme, it puts the damages faced by members in a completely different category of class-action suits,” Charney said.
Ashley Madison maintains that the information hacked could not be used to identify its members or “prove the infidelity of their clients,” according to the Guardian.
Hundreds of the leaked email addresses appear to be linked to Canadian federal and municipal workers, as well as members of the police and military. Some of the transactions revealed in the breach were authorized on computers attached the Department of National Defense and the House of Commons.
Hackers initially breached Ashley Madison’s databases in July, according to the lawsuit. That information was released publicly on Tuesday.
The class-action lawsuit filed in Canada “still needs to be certified by the court,” according to the lawyers’ statement.