09:26 GMT +319 August 2018
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    The homepage of the Ashley Madison website is displayed on an iPad, in this photo illustration taken in Ottawa, Canada July 21, 2015

    Want to Sue Ashley Madison for Data Breach? You Can't Hide Behind Fake Name

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    Last year’s massive breach of the infidelity website Ashley Madison outed millions of would-be adulterers. Those who wish to join lawsuits against the company will have to use their real names, the judge presiding over the case has ruled.

    The breach revealed that the company did not hold up their end of the $19 fee to be able to use the "Full Delete" option to remove all identifying information from the service.

    Further, it was revealed that the company made fake female accounts to lure men to the site. Of the roughly 37 million users registered at the time of the breach, over 31 million were male and almost none of the 5.5 million female accounts are thought to have been authentic.

    Defrauded users who seek to participate in the lawsuits will not be allowed to remain anonymous, but must reveal their real identities.

    "The disclosure of Plaintiffs' identities could expose their sensitive personal and financial information—information stolen from Avid when its computer systems were hacked—to public scrutiny and exacerbate the privacy violations underlying their lawsuit," US District Judge John Ross ruled. "At the same time, there is a compelling public interest in open court proceedings, particularly in the context of a class action, where a plaintiff seeks to represent a class of consumers who have a personal stake in the case and a heightened interest in knowing who purports to represent their interests in the litigation."

    One person, previously listed anonymously as John Doe, has since removed themselves since the ruling, Ars Technica reports.

    Those involved have until June 3rd to decide whether they would like to be named and proceed or drop off of the case.

    At least three people outed as having accounts on the website killed themselves following the breach.

    Related:

    Surprised? Ashley Madison Parent Company Ran Shady Escort Service
    Ashley Madison CEO Resigns After Hack Reveals Cheating Site Cheated Users
    Hack Reveals Ashley Madison Created Fake Female Profiles to Attract Men
    Toronto Police Link Two Suicides to Ashley Madison Hack
    Ashley Madison Adultery Website Hit With $578m Class Action Over Breach
    Tags:
    Class Action Lawsuit, Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison
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