Adultery site claims 4600 Dunedin users

More details are emerging about who uses an adultery website, including allegedly thousands in Dunedin and other main centres in New Zealand.

A 9.7-gigabyte file was leaked online on Wednesday, claiming to contain account details of 32 million customers worldwide including thousands of New Zealanders who use AshleyMadison.com.

Millions of panicked cheaters and their suspicious spouses have since crashed websites claiming to host the "cheat sheet" list of names leaked in the Ashley Madison hack.

Several searchable databases of names, emails and sexual fantasies linked to data leak had to shut down within minutes of going live because they could not cope with demand.

A new site has now come online showing localised breakdowns of who allegedly has used the site with the tagline: "Life is short. Have an affair."

Data from the hack has been mapped by CartoDB revealing the popularity of the site in different towns and cities across the world.

According to the breakdown, there are 4624 users in Dunedin, 86% of which are men.

Auckland City has the most users - 22,861, of which 84% are male.

Wellington has 11,126 users, of which nearly 85% are men, and in Christchurch 11,048 people are on the site, with 87% male, the breakdown shows.

According to the map, surfing the controversial site is not confined to city-types.

It says there are 61 people using it in Tararua town Pahiatua, 12 in Sanson, 42 in Ohope and 24 in Te Anau.

The map claims to show the location of users of the controversial website based on their IP addresses, which the distribution shows some people could have re-routed.

A spokesman for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner said present laws didn't give much recourse for people whose details were hacked.

"This will change when other sections of the Harmful Digital Communications Act come into effect, such as the appointment of an approved agency to manage complaints and a takedown process for content hosts, but these are not yet available," he said.

"There are existing options, but these options can only be used as a reaction to a privacy breach. People can make a complaint to this office if someone uses the information, and they can complain to either the Broadcasting Standards Authority or the Press Council if a broadcaster or publication (respectively) uses this information in a way that breaches their privacy. But by the time a complaint comes to us, the damage will have been done.

"Taking out a court injunction to prevent publication might be one avenue of action. But we're talking about a 'whack-a-mole' situation where people who are intent on disclosing this data can find other ways of making it available if one option is closed down."

The issue wasn't just a legal one, but societal and cultural too, the spokesman said.

"Our advice to people is if you wouldn't want it to happen to you, don't do it to other people. Not sharing the Ashley Madison data is one way all of us can stop a bad situation from getting any worse."

A criminal investigation into the hack was being led by Canadian law enforcement authorities because that's where Ashley Madison and its parent company Avid Life Media were based. The FBI in the United States was also investigating, the spokesman said.

- NZ Herald and NZME. News Service

 

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