To say that Ashley Madison fucked up is an understatement. Not only did they suffer from a horrendous hack as the result of their own shoddy security, in the aftermath a whole bunch of shady business tactics came to light - including using bots to lure male users into handing over fistfuls of cash as they attempt to cheat on their spouses. Now Ashley Madison hopes to regain the trust of the general public, while still encouraging adulterous breaches in trust amongst married couples.
Ruben Buell, Chief Technology Officer at Ashley Madison's parent company Ruby Life, took over as president nearly a year ago, and has very publicly announced his attentions to ensure the public trusts there won't be a repeat of the shenanigans of the past. Telling Engadget:
"We want to let people know that Ashley is here, Ashley is strong as ever. Yes, there was an incident in 2015 that was extremely unfortunate, and that the firm has learnt from that, grown from that and moved on.
Ashley's been the leader in the married dating space, the infidelity space, for a very long time now, and that is what we focused on [last year]."
'An incident' might be downplaying the severity of what happened, especially given some of the attitudes people had when Ashley Madison users were being outed by hackers that claimed to be on some sort of moral crusade. Maybe that would have flown by most people a few weeks ago, but after the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal brought the issue of online data privacy into the minds of the general public are they going to be as accepting of a company that has a proven track record of poor data security? Especially one that actively encourages people to cheat on their long-term partners, something which has already proven to be extremely unpopular with large (or at least loud) groups of people.
Security and discretion were amongst the key topics Buell brought up during his interview with Engadget, which is exactly what a site like that will need. It's not likely to be an easy task getting people to invest themselves again, and even though Ashley Madison saw growth last year it'll still be an uphill battle. [Engadget]