Yet another lawsuit has been filed against the adultery-dating website Ashley Madison, after its database was hacked and its contents later posted online. But unlike the previous class-action suits, which were filed by anonymous plaintiffs named John or Jane Doe, this latest suit's plaintiff goes by the more distinguishing moniker “Matthew Lisuzzo.”
Ashley Madison (registered motto: “Life is short. Have an affair.®”) markets itself primarily to married people who are looking for “discreet” adulterous encounters. But Lisuzzo, a Chicago-area 40-year-old, is single. His attorney Tom Zimmerman told the Chicago Tribune that his client joined Ashley Madison because “he was looking for relationships with no strings attached.”
And Lisuzzo wants to continue looking for these relationships on Ashley Madison, so he's suing because, according to the suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court, he “desires to continue to use AM and AM's services, spend the credits he already purchased from AM, and purchase additional credits.”
“Credits” is a reference to Ashley Madison's business model – men wishing to contact or chat with women on the site must buy “credits” for the privilege. Women can use the site for free, although when Annalee Newitz analyzed the Ashley Madison data dumps for Gizmodo, she concluded that only a tiny fraction of the women's profiles showed any activity at all; the bulk of the female accounts were 'bot programs, and the few profiles connected to actual humans showed almost no on-site activity.
“The world of Ashley Madison was a far more dystopian place than anyone had realized,” Newitz wrote on Aug. 26. “This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. It isn’t even a sadscape of 31 million men competing to attract those 5.5 million women in the database. Instead, it’s like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots.”
Lisuzzo's lawsuit says that he “has received communications and spent money attempting to communicate with fake female profiles.” He is asking for an injunction that would force Ashley Madison's parent company, Avid Life Media, to delete all the fake women's Ashley Madison profiles and provide secure and encrypted data storage, so he can “continue to use the services.”