Mississippi will get share of $1.7 million Ashley Madison settlement

Attorney General Jim Hood
Attorney General Jim Hood

Mississippi will receive $52,489.05 as part of a settlement with online dating service Ashley Madison over a data breach that revealed the names of people who used the service.

Attorney General Jim Hood announced Wednesday the owners of the website, which catered primarily to married men, agreed to strengthen data security and cease deceptive practices. This follows a July 2015 data breach during which sensitive user information was hacked and posted online.

Ruby Corp. will pay $1.657 million to the federal government and 13 states involved in the investigation of the company’s practices. The company showed it was unable to pay a larger amount. If that changes, it will pay an additional $17 million.

The data breach exposed information from millions of people including photos, user names, email addresses and communications with other users. Much of this information was posted publicly online and was harmful to subscribers and their families.

“I will not condone the actions of those who used this site nor the owners who provided a means for the destruction of marriages and the break-up of families,” Hood said. “However, like every business, the owners of the site had an obligation to ensure that user information was secure, so they failed in their legal responsibility as well.”