Ashley Madison is a Canadian based online dating service and social networking service marketing to people who are married or in a committed relationship.  Its slogan is “Life is short.  Have an affair.”  The company received attention in July of 2015 after hackers stole all of its customer data, including email addresses, names, home addresses, etc., and threatened to post all the data online if Ashley Madison was not permanently closed.  All the user data was released on August 18, 2015.[1]

Troy Hunt is a software engineer based in Australia.  He recently blogged under the title:  Here’s What Ashley Madison Members Have Told Me.[2]

I found the following concerns expressed in Troy Hunt’s blog most revealing:

No question I made a terrible mistake and pray to God this doesn’t come out and ruin my family.

I regret having signed up to the site and now terrified about hurting those around me, especially the one I love.

I am absolutely sick.  I can’t sleep or eat and on top of that I am trying to hide that something is wrong from my wife.

My stress levels are through the roof, still hoping that by some miracle this will just be forgotten about and no one will want to search me up.

The entire Ashley Madison data breach reveals fascinating aspects of the human condition.  One of the most interesting aspects of working as a family lawyer is to observe the choices people make.

by Patrick Gaffney

by Patrick Gaffney

[1] Information for this writing came largely from the Wikipedia entry on Ashley Madison.

[2] August 24, 2015.