What the Ashley Madison hack means for the digital age

With a certain amount of fascination and astonishment I am following how the story of the hack of the extramarital dating site Ashley Madison is evolving. It was especially insightful to learn about all the types of questions, worries and concerns that members, scammers and distrustful spouses/partners have about the user data that had been dumped on the Internet following the hack. Many users of the site seem terrified of the thought of being exposed as cheaters. Sadly, even suicide cases by Ashley Madison customers are being reported. Meanwhile, criminals are trying to capitalize on the desperation of users through extortion.

First and foremost, the incident teaches yet another lesson about that in our digital era, sensitive data is not really safe. That itself is not news though. What I find more interesting to muse about is how technology forces us to examine our ways of living and the social contracts and norms that are the foundation of our modern societies. Continue Reading