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Ashley Madison Hacked: Sex, Lies, and Internet Privacy

By Internet Lawyer
ashley madison hacked

Why is the hacking of AshleyMadison.com important?

If you’re married and trolling the Internet looking for extramarital “no strings attached” sex, you’ve probably come across the website AshleyMadison.com.

Anonymous Married Dating?

The primary purpose of the site is to make money by helping adulterers find each other for secret affairs. In fact, as of today, Ashley Madison claims almost 38 million “anonymous members.”
However, news reports allege that hackers now have the entire database and are starting to “out” these members to the public. Imagine what your spouse would do to you upon discovering you’re a member of an adultery website.

The Lesson of the Fappening

Whether or not you’re an Ashley Madison member, there’s a lesson to be learned here that has nothing to do with infidelity.
As celebrities found out when their nude photos were hacked during the “Fappening,” you should assume that anything password protected on the Internet isn’t really secure.
Before putting anything online, whether it’s in cloud storage or on a paid membership website, assume that the public can and will see it at some point.

Do you own a website?

What if you own a site that advertises complete privacy or anonymity? It’s probably time to see your Internet lawyer about revising your site’s content and disclaimers because hackers are making it just about impossible to make that promise and keep it.
Internet privacy isn’t dead. It’s virtually nonexistent these days. Act accordingly.

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OkCupid: Deceptive Internet Dating?

By Internet Lawyer
okcupid internet dating

Did OkCupid deceive its Internet dating clients?

The Internet dating website OkCupid has apparently been experimenting on clients by intentionally mismatching people. According to reports, the online matchmaker has been manipulating results so that people think they’re highly compatible even though internally OkCupid has determined they have little in common.

No harm? No foul?

I guess it depends on one’s definition of “harm.”

People invested their time, money, and emotions into going on dates with others they thought were a match because of misrepresentations made by the dating site about compatibility. This is the type of ecommerce behavior that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) typically frowns upon.

“At OkCupid we care very much about our community…” Source: OKCupid Safety Tips

What should OkCupid have done differently?

The site should have been transparent about its online dating compatibility experiment and obtained informed consent from its clients.

Under the “Conduct” section of the website’s Terms & Conditions, the site states that “[i]n your digital interactions with other users (including, but not limited to: site messages, instant messages, journal postings, and forum comments), you agree to conduct yourself civilly and respectfully.”

Perhaps the requirement should have been reciprocal. If OkCupid had treated its clients civilly and respectfully, this abuse of trust would have never occurred.