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Ashley Madison enables free profile deletions amidst hack fall-out

Extramarital affairs platform Ashley Madison is temporarily offering all 37m of its members the ability to delete their profile information free of charge in the wake of a security breach that saw hackers make off with personal information from its systems.

Some members had threatened a class action lawsuit over a £15 fee levied on members for its ‘full delete’ option which purges all pictures, communications and messages from the site, including content sent to other users’ email accounts.

In a statement Ashley Madison said they were responding to customer feedback after hackers threatened to divulge the names and ‘secret sexual fantasies’ of users unless the site was taken offline.

Going by the name Impact Team the hackers said they were motivated by Ashley Madison’s disregard for customer privacy, alleging that the website retained the names, billing addresses and credit card details of members who requested a ‘full delete’.

Legal experts believe that those affected may have recourse to seek damages under the Data Protection Act if they can demonstrate distress arising from the leaking of personal details.

Ashley Madison is working with police to investigate how the hackers were able to access its systems.