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Ashley Madison Lawsuits Centralized in MDL


January 7, 2016 — Twenty people in Mississippi have filed lawsuits against the extramarital affair dating website Ashley Madison after a data breath.

The lawsuits are the first of their kind in the state, according to the The Clarion-Ledger. They will be transferred into a federal litigation that was centralized in Missouri last month by federal judges.

The U.S. District Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a transfer order (PDF) on December 9, establishing a MDL No. 2669 in the Eastern District of Missouri under Judge John A. Ross. The litigation includes several class actions.

In July 2015, hackers stole personally identifiable and financial information on 37 million users. The data included names, email addresses, credit card details, transaction amounts, encrypted passwords, and more. In August, nearly 10 gigabytes worth of data was posted online.

The lawsuits make the following accusations against Avid Life Media (ALM), the parent company of

  • Failing to keep personal and financial information of their users secure.
  • Charging $20 for a “Full Delete Removal” service that actually kept personally-identifiably user information in an insecure database.
  • Luring male users into making purchases by extensively using fake female “bots.”

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that a judge ordered plaintiffs to use their real names. An attorney for one “John Doe” plaintiff said this “would allow others to scrutinize his extremely sensitive personal and financial information.”


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