Privacy and Ashley Madison

Kayce Fuentes, Staff Writer

Recently, the popular website Ashley Madison was hacked and has caused some major concerns about privacy in America.

On the Ashley Madison website their motto shortly explains the whole premise of the site, “Life is short. Have an affair.” Unfaithful spouses can log on to the site and find others who wish to have an affair in this eHarmony gone wrong scenario.

In the site’s FAQ it states that they don’t support infidelity in marriage as said here, “Ashley Madison does not encourage anyone to stray. In fact, if you are having difficulty with your relationship, you should seek counseling. However, if you still feel that you will seek a person other than your partner to fill your unmet needs, then we truly believe that our service is the best place to start.

“At Ashley Madison, you can communicate with other like-minded adults who may be more sympathetic to your circumstances. You never compromise your safety, privacy or security and will never have to reveal your identity unless you choose to. You can go at your own pace and change your mind any time you wish.”

Unfortunately, information from the cheater’s site was compromised and over one million users’ email addresses were published for the world to see. The data breech has caused at least two suicides, one being a pastor from New Orleans.

Ashley Madison has over 37 million users and there’s no telling how much information was compromised. Avid Life Media Inc. is offering a half million-dollar award for the capture of the hackers.

The scandal has brought up talk about what is privacy in America. According to Huffington Post writer, Patrick Ambron, “We live our entire lives online, and our actions there hinge on the promise of privacy. We believe that what we buy, where we bank, what we research, and even who we date should be private. So regardless of how you feel about adultery, we should all be terrified at the idea that a single group or person can decide to compromise that promise for their own personal agenda.”

Internet privacy has been an issue raised in government, and currently there are talks of passing a cybersecurity bill called Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA). The bill would allow the government to see information from private companies. The goal would be to promote safety in the US and prevent terrorist threats.

Currently, according to the Illinois State Agency Website Act, the state may not track the cookies (information stored on the computer about the consumer) on your computer unless they are released from the website they are collected from. The Illinois Internet Privacy task force is made up of 17 members from the House of Representatives, nine selected by the governor, and others from the Senate.

If you want to find out if your information (whether it be on Ashley Madison or elsewhere) has been compromised, go to haveibeenpwned.com. The website contains a database of all compromised information from Ashley Madison and many other sites.