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Uh, Oh! Feds Investigating Dating Hookup Web Site Ashley Madison

Uh, Oh! Feds Investigating Dating Hookup Web Site Ashley Madison

Early Tuesday early morning, Reuters broke the news headlines that AvidLife Media, the parent company of affair-driven dating/hookup site Ashley Madison, is currently undergoing a probe by the usa Federal Trade Commission. While AvidLife officially “said it doesn’t understand the focus of the very own FTC investigation,” it’s fairly easy to find out what is at issue right right here.

About a 12 months ago, in july 2015, ashley madison had been hacked by a group referred to as impact team. The hackers proceeded to threaten to leak the site’s client list if AvidLife Media didn’t shut down both Ashley Madison and sibling site Founded guys, which theoretically linked young “sugar baby” females with older, wealthier, “sugar daddy” males. The database ended up being quickly released…which had been just the end associated with iceberg.

The initial, more immediate and apparent concern had been that the business’s option to cover to completely delete a merchant account didn’t seem to really do any such thing. Exposing the reality behind the “paid deletion” choice ended up being soon revealed to become a main motive within the hack. The 2nd had been something which was indeed suspected but had been tough to show until Gizmodo’s Annalen Newitz crunched the true figures within the database:

That the vast, the greater part of feminine reports didn’t participate in actual humans, not as real women. Cross-referencing components of complaints towards the Ca Attorney General utilizing the site’s supply rule resulted in even more evidence. While currently bad, it’s even worse if you think about if they were sent by Ashley Madison robots that you have to pay extra to send/reply to messages, even.

Strangely, although the Avid lifetime Media told Reuters which they didn’t understand what precisely the FTC research focuses on, Ashley Madison’s CEO stated otherwise. Rob Segal, the CEO in question, ended up being quoted as saying that the “fembot” allegation is “a area of the process that is ongoing we’re going through … it is with all the FTC now.”

Back 2014, Jason Koebler of Motherboard submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for “all complaints from 2015 to the Federal Trade Commission regarding the company Avid Life Media” and promptly got a response, with documents arriving just days later september. The complaints have huge variations: Some consumers just alerting the FTC into the hack and all sorts of associated with the private information that was floating all over internet. Other people, nevertheless, had more issues that are specific such as this guy whom desired the FTC to work well with international governments to utilize their capabilities to censor the web, or else “families [will be] broken up,” “breadwinners potentislly lose their task,” and “tourism will surely fall.” For instance:

That is regarding the ashley madison information drip. Nevertheless, like numerous others i would like my private information become at least somewhat restricted. Theres too many individuals doxxing & posting links for this data, im confident that the FTC has many cap cap ability right here. In addition Id that is amazing other countries would use the FTC just as if families are split up & breadwinners potentislly lose their task, tourism will fall certainly. Please tell me thst thungs are now being away in spot to block links that are such & one thing has to head out to social media marketing websites as FB & Twitter are enabling individuals to upload the lists & from ehstbi [sp?] understand thsts [sic] illegal.

Needless to say, there were also less funny complaints:

  • A resident worried about users others that are impersonating different nefarious reasons after some body enrolled in a profile making use of his/her title, picture, and contact information.
  • One Columbus, Ohio-based complainant implored the FTC to analyze the bot accounts because early as 2011 (props to your FTC for, at the very least theoretically, creating significantly more than Koebler asked for to begin with).
  • Who owns the now-defunct AshleyMadisonSucks.com alleging that Avid lifestyle Media involved with a harassment campaign against him, a topic that Koebler covered in more detail.

There’s also a obvious concern that comes in your thoughts reading the FTC reaction to the FOIA request: are there actually just two complaints about Ashley Madison and its own cousin internet internet sites following the hack and simply five within their whole presence?

Even accounting for the users potentially being concerned about their privacy (although the FTC redacted all information that is personal, that seems awfully low. Fortunately, however, it would appear that the FTC was inspired to do something however, regardless of if they declined to issue a remark to Reuters in regards to the research.

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