Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

If You Used Ashley Madison, Don't Worry

Anyone named in the data breach has plausible deniability.
Discretion assured?

Discretion assured?

Photographer: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Cheating on one's partner almost inevitably ends badly for all concerned. Patrons of the recently hacked infidelity-enabling site Ashley Madison, though, need not be overly worried -- the user information released this week does less to threaten them than to exemplify the uselessness of much of the data that online services collect.

Ashley Madison claims to have 38 million members, men and women who are looking to have affairs. It works like a dating site with some peculiarities: For example, it charges $19 to delete an account -- demonstrating that the site's owners at Canadian company Avid Life Media understand perfectly well how concerned members are about the security of their information.