The owners of the Ashley Madison cheating-dating website have agreed to pay $11.2 million to settle two dozen data breach lawsuits as a result of a 2015 incident involving as many as 37 million members’ personal identifying information being exposed online. The deal (PDF) earmarks up to one-third, or about $3.7 million, for attorneys’ fees and costs. An additional $500,000 has been set aside to administer the remaining $7 million earmarked for Ashley Madison members.
The breach and the lawsuits highlight the site’s poor security and deceptive business practices, which have also resulted in a $1.6 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and several states. A Missouri federal judge must sign off on the latest deal, which was submitted in federal court Friday.
Under its terms, members who submit a “Valid Claim form and Reasonable Documentation” will be refunded their $19 if they had purchased the $19 “Full Delete” feature. Members who paid that fee were supposed to have their data deleted from the site’s servers, but it wasn’t—such data was infamously exposed in the hack.
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