Think twice before joining this suit

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Source:   —  April 22, 2016, at 3:35 AM

Forty-two plaintiffs are bringing a proposed class-action suit against the extramartial-affair dating website for not fulfilling its “full delete” promise, which was supposed to wipe every latest bit of data on a user for a fee of $19.

Think twice before joining this suit

Individuals suing Ashley Madison for latest year’s hack that revealed their identities online won't be able to stay anonymous during the trial, a federal judge has ruled.

Forty-two plaintiffs are bringing a proposed class-action suit against the extramartial-affair dating website for not fulfilling its “full delete” promise, which was supposed to wipe every latest bit of data on a user for a fee of $19. The litigation also is looking to sue Avid Life Media, the website operator behind Ashley Madison, for possibly creating phony profiles of women to invite sign-ups, Ars Technica reported. Both issues were raised when a massive hack made public the identities of more than thirty million users and exposed that the site might be engaging in fraudulent practices.

Plantiffs requested that their identities stay anonymous “to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous personal and professional consequences that could befall them and their families,” according to Ct papers as reported by the NY Times. But earlier this month, the judge ruled against the request, arguing that anonymity is granted primarily below extreme circumstances, such as those involving minors, rape, or other highly sensitive matters. The judge acknowledged that courts have allowed anonymity on grounds of humiliation in the past.

“At the same time, there is a compelling public interest in open Ct proceedings, particularly in the context of a class-action suit, where a plaintiff seeks to represent a class of consumers who have a personal stake in the case and a heightened interest in knowing who purports to represent their interests in the litigation,” he wrote.

People who are portion of the class filing suit have until June three to do so below their genuine names. Advantages of joining the class-action suit involve the potential for significant monetary compensation from any settlement. But in data-breach cases, as Ars Technica notes, the plaintiffs’ lawyers are traditionally paid out much higher than the plaintiffs themselves.

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