A Los Angeles man has filed a class-action lawsuit against the AshleyMadison.com online dating site for married people after his account information was leaked along with that of 37 million other users this month.
The man, who goes by John Doe, joined the dating site in March 2012 in the belief that his “email would never be shown or shared,” according to his lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court.
But then a group of hackers, known as the Impact Team, last week released emails, full names, street addresses and some credit card information for their tens of millions of users. The leak revealed dozens of government email addresses were used to access the site.
The breach also exposed the vulnerability of Toronto-based Avid Life Media, owner of AshleyMadison.com. Hackers warned of such a leak in July if the site continued to operate, but Avid Life Media ignored the threat, the lawsuit alleges.
“For many of the website’s users, the publicity of this information has created and will continue to create irreparable harm,” the man said in his lawsuit.
After creating a username and password, the man said he shared personal information and photographs on the website’s system. He purchased credits and talked with other members on the site.
The breach, according to the lawsuit, made public “extremely personal and embarrassing information.”
The man alleges that he suffered emotional distress and harm. Because of this, he is seeking punitive damages.
The lawsuit argues the leak could have been avoided if Avid Life Media had taken precautions to protect its users’ information.
AshleyMadison.com did not immediately return a request for comment.
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