Avid Life Media, Parent Company of Ashley Madison, Under FTC Investigation

UPI By Andrew V. Pestano  |  July 6, 2016 at 12:36 PM
Avid Life Media Inc., the parent company of extramarital affair website Ashley Madison, is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. Last July, hackers released 9.7 gigabytes of user data they had acquired including credit card information, account details and usernames of at least 32 million Ashley Madison customers. Photo courtesy of Ashley Madison

TORONTO, July 6 (UPI) — The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Avid Life Media Inc., the parent company of extramarital affair website Ashley Madison, over its business practices.

Avid Life Media CEO Rob Segal said he did not know what the inquiry was focused on, but said his company began cooperating with government regulators in August. The FTC is the chief federal agency in the United States on matters of privacy policy and enforcement.

A spokesman for the commission declined to comment to The New York Times about the investigation.

Ashley Madison was hacked last July in protest of the site’s leaver’s fee, which deletes all data of those wishing to depart from the site. Avid Life Media, headquartered in Toronto, also runs Cougar Life and Established Men — two other specialty dating sites.

News of the FTC investigation comes as the company hopes to re-brand its dating platforms as a secure way to meet people — in Ashley Madison’s case, to be seen not exclusively as a website to carry out extramarital affairs.

The hackers released 9.7 gigabytes of user data they had acquired including credit card information, account details and usernames of at least 32 million Ashley Madison customers.

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