Post-hack, Ashley Madison offers members full and free account deletion

Graham Cluley

Ashley Madison
Following an embarrassing hack that has potentially put its 37 million members at risk, adulterous hook-up site Ashley Madison is allowing all members to fully delete their profiles for free.

Which is nice of them.

Here is the relevant section of their latest press statement:

Full deletion statement

Contrary to current media reports, and based on accusations posted online by a cyber criminal, the “paid-delete” option offered by AshleyMadison.com does in fact remove all information related to a member’s profile and communications activity. The process involves a hard-delete of a requesting user’s profile, including the removal of posted pictures and all messages sent to other system users’ email boxes. This option was developed due to specific member requests for just such a service, and designed based on their feedback.

As our customers’ privacy is of the utmost concern to us, we are now offering our full-delete option free to any member, in light of today’s news.

Previously, as Ars Technica describes in a report from last year, users were told they could only hide their profiles – giving them the option to return months or years later if they wished to re-open the account.

If anyone did (quite understandably in light of the current debacle) permanently delete all of their records – they were forced to pay approximately $20 to the company for the privilege.

Full delete dialog

It seems to me that it would have been sensible, and more caring to their users, if they had given them the ability to fully delete their accounts from the start – rather than discouraging the behaviour by charging a fee.

The company also claims to have successfully managed to remove all of the hackers’ posts related to the security breach, including the personal information of its users.

However, you have to wonder how long they will be able to keep the lid on that particular box…

Further reading:
Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

2 Replies to “Post-hack, Ashley Madison offers members full and free account deletion”

  1. >The company also claims to have successfully managed to remove all of the hackers' posts related to the security breach, including the personal information of its users.

    I wonder how they managed that.

  2. Wow! Ashley Madison is now letting users delete their accounts for FREE!!! This is revolutionary! Why hasn't anyone else thought of this before? /s

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