Ashley Madison parent company agrees to huge payout for hacking victims

Ashley Madison parent company agrees to huge payout for hacking victims
The parent company of the website, AshleyMadison.com has agreed to a multimillion dollar payout for its 2015 data breach that exposed data belonging to millions of its customers. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The parent company of Ashley Madison.com agreed Friday to a settlement of $11.2 million for the website’s 2015 data breach that exposed data belonging to millions of its customers.

Now rebranded as Ruby Corp., the company will pay the proposed amount as a settlement for the class action lawsuits filed against them after an online hacker exposed the personal data of over 37 million users of the website, AshleyMadison.com, which operates as an online dating service for people who are married or in committed relationships.

The lawsuits, co-led by law firms Dowd & Dowd, The Driscoll Firm, and Heninger Garrison Davis, alleged that the site had inadequate data security practices and misrepresented to users that they had taken appropriate steps to secure their personal information. At the time of the hack, even the personal information of past users who had paid the $19 required to delete their account and scrub their information from the website was exposed.

“If the proposed settlement agreement is approved by the court, ruby will contribute a total of $11.2 million USD to a settlement fund, which will provide, among other things, payments to settlement class members who submit valid claims for alleged losses resulting from the data breach and alleged misrepresentations as described further in the proposed settlement agreement,” the company said in a statement, according to Fox News.

“While ruby denies any wrongdoing, the parties have agreed to the proposed settlement in order to avoid the uncertainty, expense, and inconvenience associated with continued litigation, and believe that the proposed settlement agreement is in the best interest of ruby and its customers,” it added.

The company also promised it has taken numerous remedial steps to increase the site’s security.

In July 2015, Ashley Madison hackers, who called themselves the Impact Team, released account details like email addresses and credit card data of over 37 million users in an online data dump after criticizing the company’s core values and business practices.

The security breach didn’t deter everyone though, as the website today boasts nearly 54 million members and counting.

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