AshleyMadison.com is a Canadian-based on-line dating service for the married or others in a committed relationship. Its slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.” In July, hackers stole its customer data, including names, addresses, sexual fantasies and credit card information, and threatened to post it all on line.
The hack reportedly unleashed some 40 million names and email addresses of possible users who were seeking extramarital affairs. The hack has swept the country leaving virtually no corner untouched. According to Gawker, of the approximately 43,000 zip codes in the U.S., only three have no record of Ashley Madison users-Nikolai, Alaska (Population 94), Perryville, Alaska (Population 113) and Polvadera, New Mexico (Population 269), all not only with few people but also lacking internet.
Usually, class action suits are filed within days of online data hacks. But, not too surprisingly, that isn’t happening in response to the Ashley Madison hack.
The reasons given by the plaintiffs’ class action bar? Every one of your clients is on record as being a liar and a cheat, making them undesirable from a jury trial perspective. Finding the customers is also not easy. Who is going to volunteer to be identified as part of this class? Calculating damages makes class certification another problem because money claimed to be lost in divorces or child custody battles could vary wildly among the plaintiffs.
Hacking and social media, once again creating new frontiers in the law. . .