Technology

Ashley Madison: Delete tool detailed in latest analysis

Ashley Madison offered a paid "Full Delete" function to users Image copyright Ashley Madison
Image caption Ashley Madison offered a paid "Full Delete" function to users

New details have emerged about the actions taken by hacked infidelity dating site Ashley Madison after users paid to delete their data.

The Register news site has published a report in which it suggests that a variety of personal data was removed from a database.

However, some information, such as users' GPS co-ordinates, gender and date of birth was retained.

The "Full Delete" option has been available for several years.

It allowed users to pay $19 (£15) to erase "all traces of [their] usage" but Ashley Madison had not issued complete details on how the tool worked.

Following the release of the user database by hackers last week, there were several reports suggesting that the pay-to-delete function was flawed.

Ashley Madison: In numbers

33m

User accounts leaked

500,000

Canadian dollars reward for information on hackers

  • 300 gigabytes Data reported stolen by hackers

  • 197,000+ Emails leaked from chief exec's work account

  • $115m Sales reported by parent company Avid Life Media in 2014

  • 13 years ago Infidelity site founded

Reuters

Although some data does seem to have been retained, the report by the Register implies that a significant amount of information was removed after payment.

This included:

  • Email address, which replaced with "deleted@almlabs.com"
  • First and last name
  • Street address and postcode
  • Home, work and mobile numbers
  • Answer to security question

This matches other evidence seen by the BBC.

Previously, Ashley Madison had said that the full delete function would erase photos and messages sent to other users on the site, but that some user profile data could be deleted for free.

Ashley Madison could not be reached for comment.

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