Even a data breach of epic proportions cannot dissuade romantics in search of illicit love. Or so it seems. Since the hack this summer, extramarital dating site Ashley Madison has reportedly increased its membership from 39 to 43 million cheating hearts.
According to CNN, spokespeople for Ashley Madison parent company Avid Life Media will not account for this “apparent customer growth.” One spokesman “said the website had no update to provide since its last statement on August 31.” In that aforementioned statement, Avid Life “said that reports of its imminent demise were ‘greatly exaggerated,’ and cheaters continued to use the site more than ever—even though 32 million of its members’ identities were revealed” in the security hack.
But despite this massive release of confidential information—and strong, very unsettling evidence that 95 percent of Ashley Madison’s members are men, while most of its female users are inactive—the company asserts that the website has continued to thrive. Avid Life claims that members used the site’s services “in the days and weeks following the hack” and that it has “worked hard to tighten its security protocols.”
Nonetheless, Avid Life might be painting a deceptively rosy picture. They face roughly a dozen class-action lawsuits from “customers who claim the site failed to protect their identities.” Handling these legal matters will be extremely expensive in spite of last year’s $55 million profit.
If the shit hits the fan, restless married folk might be forced to cheat the old fashioned way: via loudly whispered phone calls and late nights “at the office.”
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