Nobles Law Firm

Lessons learned from the Ashley Madison mess

Am-color-logoUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that a team of hackers broke through the security at Ashley Madison, stole a bunch of user data and then released that information to the wild.

Ashley Madison, of course, is that decidedly sleazy Internet-based company that bills itself as a way for married folks to meet up and cheat on their spouses. That being the case, all sorts of trouble started when the identities of the site’s customers started circulating around the Internet.

The database for Arkansas alone contains over 38,000 records and displays everything from the names of those folks to their home and email addresses. If you get your mitts on that database and have a look at it, the chances are good that you’ll see someone you know in there. The results of releasing that database were, sadly, predictable. There have been reports of a couple of people committing suicide after being outed as Ashley Madison users and tales of strained marriages and divorces being filed by furious spouses in response to the leak are pretty common.

And, of course, the class action suits have already started against Avid Life Media – the site’s parent company. With any luck, we’ll see Ashley Madison sued out of oblivion soon enough and it’s hard to argue the company doesn’t deserve to be destroyed by one money-sucking judgment after another.

One thing I’ve impressed upon my clients over the years is that cheating on a spouse is a truly horrible idea. Such behavior is, of course, wrong but there are people who don’t get hung up so much on that.

What they do worry about, however, is getting found out by their spouses. Spouses always find out about affairs, so those who engage in them had better be willing to face the consequences. People might think they can get away with being unfaithful, but that kind of trouble always comes home to roost and the Ashley Madison debacle is more evidence of that.

By the way, there is some evidence to suggest that Ashley Madison was never anything more than a scam. An intrepid reporter at Gizmodo found that there are far more male members at the site than female and that the overwhelming majority of the accounts created for females are fake (visit http://tinyurl.com/npjplze).

So, we’ve got a site that was set up for the purpose of encouraging people to cheat on their spouses and the whole thing may have been a massive scam. Oh, yeah. Ashley Madison deserves whatever rough treatment it receives through the courts.

This column was authored by Ethan C. Nobles and originally appeared in the Sept. 1, 2015, edition of the Daily Record in Little Rock.

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