Ashley Madison Data Breach Victims Must Reveal Their Names to Sue
Victims of last year’s Ashley Madison data breach have hit a small speedbump in their lawsuit against the adultery website. In order to sue the online affair site for not protecting their privacy, victims must identify themselves by name. They cannot be listed as John Doe.
Ashley Madison is a website designed to connect married people with other married people who wish to have an affair. Being affiliated with such a site could do major harm to a person’s reputation, as evidenced by the Josh Duggar scandal that eventually caused his family’s show ’19 Kids and Counting’ to be cancelled.
The data breach already revealed the names and partial credit card numbers of 32 million users on the site, but many of those names may have gone unnoticed by friends and family members. Now if someone from the site wants to get money back for the breach or other issues associated with Ashley Madison, they have to become a “named plaintiff” in the case.
“The personal and financial information plaintiffs seek to protect has already been released on the Internet and made available to the public,” said Judge John A. Ross of the United States District Court of Missouri.
Thus far, approximately 50 people are looking to sue Ashley Madison, according to a report from earlier this year. Many of the victims are not just suing because their personal information was revealed. They’re filing claims against the company because Ashley Madison allegedly created fake female profiles on the site to lure men into signing up for an account.
Of the 50 plaintiffs, 42 of them used John Doe or a similar fake name in order to file their lawsuits. They have until June 3, 2016 to make themselves named plaintiffs, or they will not be able to continue with their legal filings.