Published Monday, August 31, 2015 5:51PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 31, 2015 7:19PM EDT
One Quebec bachelor has volunteered to be named as the plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Ashley Madison, as the company’s data breach continues to make waves.
The class action lawsuit was filed in Quebec last week — one of several against the Toronto-based company Avid Life Media that owns the website famous for offering to set users up with discrete extramarital affairs.
“Damages for breach of privacy, breach of contract and now damages to recover all the money spent to purchase credits to talk with people who did not exist,” said Ted Charney of Charney Lawyers.
Serge Saumur said he joined Ashley Madison for a relationship.
“I wasn’t looking for a one-night stand, I was looking for someone to be in my life,” insisted Saumur.
In the end, Saumur never met a single person, and had only a few online chats and phone calls.
When the site was hacked and the data of users exposed, he wasn’t worried about getting found out.
“The thing that scared me the most was now it’s dangerous for identity theft, because we knew with the name and date of birth anyone can create an ID card,” he said.
Since the data dump spilled the secrets of 37 million user accounts, experts found few of the sites users were women, a claim the company disputes. It sent out a release Monday stating that in spite of the breach, more than 80,000 women signed up.
They’re trying to do damage control, explained cyber security expert Terry Cutler, adding that the users are facing the most damage.
“They’re relying on the company to protect the data. People are committing suicide, there’s extortion and people have to prepare their spouses for the bad news,” said Cutler.
Still, Cutler believes Ashley Madison will survive the scandal.
“I don’t think it’s going to be shut down, my only worry is that in a month from now, or two weeks, people are just going to forget about this breach,” he said.
In the meantime, Saumur has cancelled his credit cards, a precaution he and the other estimated 70,000 Quebec subscribers have had to take.
“There are a lot of victims,” he said.
I’m a government cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the Vice-President of Cyber at SIRCO, an investigations and protections firm in Montréal, Canada.
I’m also a frequent contributor to National & Global media reportage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and the real social network dangers that families and individuals face every day.
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