When adultery web site Ashley Madison was hacked the details of tens of thousands of Australians, who had registered in the hope of snagging an affair were exposed. Now the Company is set to fork up millions to US nationals who were among the 37 million USA users who were affected.
Over the weekend the owner of the Ashley Madison site agreed to pay $11.2 million to settle U.S. litigation brought on behalf of roughly 37 million US users whose personal details were exposed in a July 2015 data breach.
There was no mention of whether registered Australian users would be compensated.
Ruby Corporation, formerly known as Avid Life Media denied wrongdoing in agreeing to the preliminary class-action settlement, which requires approval by a US federal judge.
Ashley Madison marketed itself to help people, primarily men, cheat on their spouses, and was known for its slogan “Life is short. Have an affair.”
In Australian 28% of those registered were women.
The data breach cost Ruby which is a private Company more than a quarter of its revenue, and prompted the Company to spend millions of dollars to improve security and user privacy.
Last December, Ruby agreed to pay $1.66 million to settle a probe by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and several states into lax data security and deceptive practices, also without admitting liability.
According to Friday’s settlement, users with valid claims can recoup up to $3,500 depending on how well they can document their losses attributable to the breach.
Layn Phillips, a former federal judge who mediated the settlement, said in a court filing that the accord offered “a valuable recovery for the class in the face of many obstacles,” including Ruby’s preference that victims arbitrate their claims.
Lawyers for Ashley Madison users may receive up to one-third of the $11.2 million payout to cover legal fees, court papers reveal.