back to article And it begins: Ashley Madison bonk-seekers urged to lawyer up

It's been barely 48 hours since the Ashley Madison database of millions of fling-seekers was leaked online, and already the lawsuits are flying. Canadian legal eagles* working at Charney Lawyers and fellow practice Sutts, Strosberg LLP will sue fellow Canuck company Ashley Madison over the security and privacy breach. For the …

  1. spudmasterflex

    Shall I tell the wife that we might be able to afford that new car after all?

    1. flemingchrisjohn
      Facepalm

      And;

      what half the car will you be getting?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And;

        what half the car will you be getting?

        With his luck it'll be the half with the fuel filler (to paraphrase an old joke)

    2. lansalot

      It's OK, I'll tell her tonight :P

  2. FozzyBear Silver badge

    that he had spent $175.98 on the site from 2013 onwards for research purposes in legal cases.

    What research would that be? "Can I actually get a quick shag from someone on this website"

    No. Well I guess Mrs Palmer and her 5 friends will be busy while I look at these dirty pictures

    1. veti Silver badge

      "for research purposes in legal cases" has got to be the oldest story in the book...

      I'm curious about the guy who had two accounts, though. Why?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        I'm sure that there will hundreds of "research purposes" excuses now. Not just cops, but AP is reporting quite a few folks in US Government...

        The two accounts is probably "research purposes" also... maybe he wanted twice the women?

      2. Schlimnitz

        One looking for men, the other looking for women?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'm curious about the guy who had two accounts, though. Why?

        A couple of possibilities:

        1) He swings both ways;

        2) Given the narcissism of most politicians, so that he could have an affair with himself.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        you heard of the guy who had two accounts on ashley madison?

        he was doing research on theory of parallel realities.

        Schadenfreunde? You bet.

      5. earlyjester

        Because the women he kept contacting told him to go f*ck himself so he set up a second account

      6. midcapwarrior

        I'm assuming 2 account for market research. You know A and B testing

      7. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        Probably because all the women blocked the first one because he is just so damn creepy.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Err... You are missing the point

      It is not just quick shag, it is an expensed and tax-deducted quick shag for research purposes.

  3. Number6

    He's asking for $760million for embarrassment? Or does that break down to $100 for him and the rest for the lawyers? That's pretty much what happens with a class action, isn't it? The participants get a token amount and the lawyer gets a new yacht.

    1. flemingchrisjohn

      Dummies and Dodos;

      are the same, interesting and of coarse (sp) : Seems like a guilty face were I work and advising them of this info....

      Oh well, I guess life for some is short and pointless; $$$

      ''Good night Hon"

    2. Alister Silver badge

      He's asking for $760million for embarrassment?

      Yes, I was going to post the same thing, he must have been very, very embarrassed...

    3. Morrolan

      In most class actions, the plaintiffs actually get the bulk of the reward. It's just that there are often thousands, in some cases millions of them.

      So the lawyer - who gets 5% or 10% or whatever - makes a lot more than any individual plaintiff. And yes, if that's 5% of a 5-billion damage award, that's a lot more than you need to buy a yacht.

      Both the law firms in this story, however, are Ontario law firms. In Ontario, being paid a percentage of the settlement or judgment is illegal under Law Society rules. They have to charge a fixed fee. That fee will probably be fairly high but the plaintiffs, if they win, are going to get most of the proceeds.

      If they lose, it's a problem.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The big difference..

    "your information will be held in strict confidence." Odd, that's what Ashley Madison used to say, too.

    Maybe you missed that in your enthusiasm to get a pun in, but there is a vast difference between a company promising to keep your info safe and not putting much effort into it and an entity which has a professional and legal obligation to protect your info written into law, in a country that still has a degree of privacy protection left.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The big difference..

      promises versus obligations, I see NO DIFFERENCE, where incompetence mixed with greed is involved. And I never heard of any business proclaiming either upfront.

  5. Sir Barry

    Lawyer up!

    Looks like it's time to buy some shares in the legal firms.

    I'm gonna be rich!!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What would happen with subscrtibers to AM that live in states or countries where adultery is illegal ?

    Please go directly to jail, do not collect 200$ ?

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      "What would happen with subscrtibers to AM that live in states or countries where adultery is illegal ?

      Please go directly to jail, do not collect 200$ ?"

      I don't know, what is the penalty for joining a website where the members almost certainly didn't commit adultery, since it was 90+% men? Guns are illegal in this country, but if I join a website for gun owners that doesn't mean I have one.

      1. Morrolan

        Attempted criminal acts are usually criminal too. You can be prosecuted for attempted murder just fine, even if you didn't succeed.

        This isn't going to be much of a problem in this case though, looking at the map I don't see too many of the countries which still treat adultery as criminal in red.

  7. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Since their names are already in the public domain why bother hid behind 'John Doe' in court?

    1. Lionel Baden

      It would just intensify the spotlight

  8. jake Silver badge

    Once again:

    TehIntraWebTubes[tm] was built as a research network, designed to research networking. It was (and is) designed to share information, not hide it. Anybody who assumes otherwise is completely unclear on the concept.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With my lawyers hat on...

    ...I say good luck trying to sue Ashley Madison.

    Perhaps by the time judgment is given the administrators/liquidators will still have some stationary or AM-branded T-shirts left to hand out as compensation.

    (and that is without the other jurisdictional difficulties in trying to sue if you are not based in Canada)

    1. Smooth Newt

      Re: With my lawyers hat on...

      Yes - for a ball park figure, if their assets are about the same as last year's $55 million earnings then, with 38 million claimants, that's US$1.44, or 92p, each.

      1. Cardinal

        Re: With my lawyers hat on...

        Maybe AM has some kind of anti-sue insurance, in which case there'll be extra gravy for everyone eh?

        Might also be an opportunity for some of our less fortunate brethren to contact the wealthier exposees and offer to take the rap for them - for a good price of course?

        No unbelievable research claims necessary either.

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    a disabled widower

    Bingo.

    That is exactly what this case needed, a clearly unimpeachable example of someone who did no wrong and who was wronged.

    Obviously, there were (are ?) cheaters on ALM, but nobody can blame a widower for trying to hook up. He is the ideal poster-figure for a lawsuit.

    In other matters, women now make up 14% of ALM members ? Curious, yesterday it was 5%.

    Funny, that.

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: a disabled widower

      @Pascal Monet

      Well, yeah - any women looking for extra marital bouncey bouncey now all know pretty much nobody on the site will turn them down, no matter what aesthetic difficulties they posess.

      "Well Timmy, it's this or nothing, so get your game face on and get in there"

    2. bafj

      Re: a disabled widower

      A quick

      select count(*) from am_am_member where gender='1'

      gives me 4,414,808. There are 31,971,575 total members in that table, giving a female percentage of 13.80.

      Hope this helps! :-)

  11. 2Fat2Bald

    I wonder how damning you being in the database actually is.

    Couldn't virtually anyone just type in someone's email address, set a password and get them signed up for AM? Even if you don't confirm the email address (as most sites want you to these days - although I don't know about AM) it's going to be stored somewhere pending confirmation. I don't know if the breach includes the data required to filter those "unconfirmed" accounts out.

    But, presumably, you could be in this data, even if you never signed up?

    1. Mr.Mischief

      Ah yes.. the "It wasn't me" defense.

      I'll let Eddie Murphy explain it.

      www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_f6qFBQD9U

    2. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Its a paid service, so you;d need their credit card details too. Possible if you wanted to smear the other person in a divorce case, but not nearly as easy as just signing them up for one of the free dating services...

  12. lansalot

    Ah come on... there must be someone in each province who's willing to say:

    "I was horny and fancied a shag - money please!"

  13. LucreLout Silver badge

    Chances are...

    ...that they won't have actually fixed their problems and this issue will repeat. I wonder how many people are considering "carpet bagging" them, for want of a better term....

  14. trenchfoot

    Joking aside

    Surely a massive, bankrupting class-action payout, regardless of who gets what out of it, is the best thing we could all hope for. Finally, it might just send the message to all the other millions of corporate morons that this security of information thing might actually be important.

  15. Peter Simpson 1
    Holmes

    The 5%

    Ashley Madison's closest kept secret seems to have been the male (95%)/female(5%) ratio of their subscriber base. Either those 5% are awfully busy (!!!), or there are a lot of unsatisfied men paying money in the hopes that one of those 5% will pick them. Now, how many of the 5% are "women of negotiable affection" has yet to be determined...

    Some sociology postgrad is going to mine this database for all it's worth and get a PhD out of all this.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Percentagaes

    This percentages are amazing....Just talk to your partner and work out your issues and find a better love life or get the fook out. I've zero respect for anyone that lies like that. Feel free to down-vote.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Percentagaes

      have an upvote. It doesn't matter, if they cheated, or wanted to cheat (or did research, lol), they got what they deserved, both the clients, and the (...) who saw the "business opportunity", aka "life's too short, have an affair".

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ontario is Canada?

    The Loon is the official bird of Ontario, a province of Canada, not the official bird of Canada, yet.

    But the Loon is a great representation of Canada, it's even on the dollar coin.

    The first choice for the dollar was an image celebrating French history. When the bureaucrats responsible for handling the dies "lost" them a new image was needed. So they selected the Provincial Bird of Ontario.

    That 's Canadian.

    Ontario and Quebec believe they are Canada. They have many justifications, they have the most population, they were the Colony called Canada, they know what is best for everyone and of course they are the "real" Canada, the "real" Canadians, the founding Nations. It certainly never occurred to them to use anything other than an image selected, approved and pleasing to those who consider themselves Canada, making the Loon a natural choice.

    The Loon is a excellent representation, not so much because it is a big bird, a great ducker and diver but because it, Ontario's bird, got put on our money by "real" Canadians while all the rest of Canada make fun of it by calling it the Loonie.

    And they still think most of Canada is laughing with them and that the Loon should be Canada's national bird, after all Ontario is Canada, at least to those in Ontario.

    1. Morrolan

      Re: Ontario is Canada?

      People in Ontario make fun of the dollar coin by calling it the loonie as well.

      The loonie, you may recall, was brought in by the Mulroney government, which wasn't terribly popular. It began to be seen as a symbol of everything he did wrong.

      (I've lived in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario & B.C. They all say loonie. Even anglo Quebecers say loonie.)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worse than Loons

    Isn't Canada's naional animal the beaver? One of their MPs famously stated that Canada was "a nation founded on the relentless pursuit of beaver."

    Write your own jokes. I'm off to the pub.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Insert Joke here...

      Ahh!; the best winter sock a man can find!

  19. Displacement Activity
    WTF?

    I don't get it...

    Why would anyone use their real name and address on a site like this? And, conversely, surely the email addresses *are* real, or AM couldn't send notifications/whatever to members?

    The only personally identifiable data would be a name on a credit card, which is hardly unique, and possibly the last 4 digits of the CC number, which seems to be in the database. So, on the face of it, the database seems close to useless, unless you can match a name on a CC with an email address.

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