Unlike or e Harmony, Ashley Madison's business model is based on credits rather than monthly subscriptions.
For a conversation between two members, one of the members—almost always the man—must pay five credits to initiate the conversation.
A statement denouncing proposed ads was made in 2009 when Ashley Madison attempted to purchase C$200,000 worth of advertising from the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) on the Toronto streetcar system.
Biderman offered to subsidize the TTC fare rate to $2.50 from $2.75 but the offer was declined.
Claiming that its security had always been weak, the hackers claimed to have stolen personal information about the site's user base, and threatened to release names, home addresses, search histories and credit card numbers if the site was not immediately shut down.
The demand was driven by the site's policy of not deleting users' personal information following their invoiced requests.
The lawsuit claimed that as a result Silva "developed severe pain in her wrists and forearms", and has been unable to work since 2011. The company claimed that Silva had been photographed jet-skiing, an activity that was unlikely for someone who had suffered serious injury to the hands and forearms.
Ashley Madison later alleged further that Silva had kept confidential documents and sought to retrieve them.The data disclosures in 2015 revealed that this "permanent deletion" feature did not permanently delete anything, and all data was recoverable.Trish Mc Dermott, a consultant who helped found Match.com, accused Ashley Madison of being a "business built on the back of broken hearts, ruined marriages, and damaged families".Any follow-up messages between the two members are free after the communication has been initiated.Ashley Madison also has a real-time chat feature where credits buy a certain time allotment.On August 24 the Toronto Police Department spoke of "two unconfirmed reports of suicides" associated with the leak of customer profiles along with extortion attempts, offering a 0,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the hackers.