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Privacy breach results in lawsuit

A privacy breach resulted in a $576 Million class-action lawsuit, when customer names and details pertaining to dating website Ashley Madison, were stolen and released publicly, allegedly by a disgruntled contractor.

The theft and release of these customer details caused substantial reputational damage and financial loss. Given the website promotes confidential liaisons between married clients, having their identities disclosed was an alarming breach of client trust. The following security measures would assist businesses, to reduce the risk of a similar incident occurring in their business:

  • Having a strict contractor agreement in place, including requirements for information security 
  • IT controls to prevent contractors accessing and or downloading sensitive information
  • Proper and timely management of personnel disputes and contractor issues