In 2015, Ashley Madison, adult dating site designed to facilitate discreet, extramarital affairs, reported that its user databases had been leaked, revealing the details of up to 37 million users. An anonymous user filed a class-action lawsuit against the site’s parent company, Avid Life Media, alleging that it had failed to take "necessary and reasonable precautions" to protect its user data. On Friday, the company reached a tentative settlement with potential plaintiffs, to the tune of $11.2 million.
The settlement has to be reviewed by a judge, but if approved, Ruby Corp., formerly known as Avid Life, won’t admit to any wrongdoing, and will compensate individuals who were users of the site at the time of the breach, who “submit valid claims for alleged losses resulting from the data breach and alleged misrepresentations.”
The company’s statement goes on to provide some cover to potential spouse who might have gotten in trouble with their significant others, saying that account information hadn’t been verified for accuracy, and that “because a person's name or other information appears to have been released in the data breach does not mean that person actually was a member of Ashley Madison.”
This is the second big payout that Ruby Corp. has made. In December, the company agreed to pay $1.66 million to settle an FTC probe launched in July of last year. According to the Wall Street Journal, court papers show that upwards of six million individuals could be included in the group.