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The FTC is investigating Ashley Madison following last year's hack

By Shawn Knight
Jul 5, 2016
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  1. Executives with infidelity dating site Ashley Madison have revealed that the Federal Trade Commission is conducting an investigation into parent company Avid Life Media.

    Last summer, a group known as The Impact Team published account credentials belonging to millions Ashley Madison users. Included in the data dump were first and last names, usernames, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, addresses and more. It’s bad enough for your data to be stolen but to have it linked to a website that specializes in extramarital affairs adds a new layer of shame and embarrassment.

    Avid Life Media found itself on the receiving end of multiple class-action lawsuits but perhaps even more damning was the realization that Ashley Madison had been using chat algorithms, or “fembots,” to operate millions of fake female accounts and to chat with paying male customers.

    By the end of August, CEO Noel Biderman had left Ashley Madison.

    The company confirmed on Tuesday that it had used fembots but ended that practice in North America in 2014 and abroad the following year. The site’s male-to-female ratio now sits at 5:1.

    It was also revealed today that Rob Segal had taken over as CEO while James Millership now serves as president. Segal said he did not know the nature of the FTC investigation and when asked about the fembot messages by Reuters, he said that it’s part of the ongoing process that they’re going through with the FTC.

    As for the hack, Segal said Avid still doesn’t know how it happened or who is responsible. Nevertheless, the site will persevere as Avid has boosted its security and privacy. They’ve also got around $50 million at their disposal to spend on acquisitions or partnerships with like-minded sites, Millership said.

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