Tragic casualty of the Ashley Madison hacking

A range of implications associated with the Ashley Madison hacking scandal have emerged over the weekend after hackers released private details identifying clients of the “cheating” website late last week. Duplicitous spouses have been outed, celebrity clients identified and pursued, extortion and blackmail attempted, law suits initiated and divorce lawyers instructed.

Some time ago researchers exploring privacy with respect to social networking sites identified the possibility of hacking, exposure of private data, and the consequences of a damaged reputation following the public exposure of stigmatised behaviours. The Ashley Madison scandal has transformed what was theoretically possible into global reality on a grand scale.