Two years ago, trapped in what he remembers as “a dead marriage,” Michael logged on to adulterous dating site Ashley Madison for the first time. He was less than impressed.
“I was a regular for about three months,” Michael, who works for a volunteer organization in the Midwest, told AFP on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.
“Honestly, the site was terrible. Meeting real people was difficult. I’d wager most users, even paid ones, didn’t even have anything close to an affair,” he said.
“Many, like me, found it pointless and quit pretty soon after joining—but they didn’t delete our information.”
Today, Michael finds himself living in fear after his account details appeared—among those of 32 million others—in the most talked-about data hack of the year.
He worries not for his marriage—he and his wife have separated and divorce is in the works—but for the impact it could have on their child and on his job.
“My fear is that this will wreak havoc in all areas of my life. I have a good job, but many involved in it are religious. I could be fired,” he said.
“What I did was wrong and I deeply regret it, but losing my job and putting my child at risk of poverty is hardly a fitting punishment.”
“And I’m bothered by the smugness of the hackers and the glee of some on social media.”
“Life is short. Have an affair”—so goes Ashley Madison’s catchy slogan. But the impact of its data leak…