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Results from the Ashley Madison data breach starting to show

Most people in Charlotte and across the country have by now heard about the data breach involving the infidelity-based dating site Ashley Madison. Recently, computer hackers broke into the online records of the service and accessed the personal information of millions of subscribers. The hackers then published some 33 million names and email addresses for anyone to see. It would not be unexpected for a person who found his or her spouse’s name on the list to file a divorce lawsuit.

Some people have come forward with their stories about the aftermath of the data breach. One woman said that she searched the database and found her fiancé’s email address there. She confronted him, and at first he repeatedly denied having been a member of the site. Ultimately, he confessed to having had multiple affairs with other women. The woman called off the engagement and moved out.

In another case, a married woman said that she joined the site out of curiosity, but left just before agreeing to meet a person because she was afraid to put her marriage at risk and hurt her husband. She claims she paid a fee to have her identifying information deleted from Ashley Madison’s database, but that her information was still on the list when she looked. She now lives in fear of her husband discovering she had been a member of the site, and says that the stress has affected her sleep and daily life.

There are many difficult emotions a person may feel upon finding out a spouse has been unfaithful, and divorce would be the natural course of action for many. The full consequences of this data breach are yet to be seen.

Source: BBC News, "Ashley Madison: Two women explain how hack changed their lives," Chris Baraniuk, Aug. 27, 2015

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