Ashley Madison Waives $19 Fee That Irked Hackers
They're making sure the stable door is locked
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2015 5:10 AM CDT
Updated Jul 21, 2015 6:36 AM CDT
Noel Biderman, chief executive of Avid Life Media, which operates AshleyMadison.com, poses during a photo session in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
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(Newser) – The horses may have gone, but Ashley Madison is making sure the stable door is locked: The hacked affair-arranging site says it's now offering users the ability to delete their profiles for free. Formerly, users who wanted to undergo a "Full Delete" had to pay $19 to do so. That charge reportedly annoyed the hackers who made off with data on 37 million "cheating dirtbags," the Guardian reports; they cited the fee as a reason for the attack and claimed those who paid it didn't really have every last bit of info wiped clean. But the company says that contrary to what the "Impact Team" hackers allege, the "Full Delete" option it charges for really does eliminate every last scrap of user information.

Ars Technica looked into the "Full Delete" issue last year and found that free options for deleting or deactivating an Ashley Madison profile did exist, though they weren't very clearly signposted. The company says the service includes deleting messages from other users' inboxes, and the fee—which Ars Technica estimates brings in between $152,000 and $342,000 a month for the company—covers administrative costs. Would-be cheaters should still check the site's small print, reports CNNMoney, which notes that Ashley Madison's privacy policy says it can't guarantee the safety of information—and that if the company goes bust, user data could be sold.