Ashley Madison Ex-Employee

Ex Employee answers questions on reddit

I read through the whole thing. There is a particular part of this thread (great catch reddit users!) that made me go ah ha, that’s a very good point.

Record retention laws regarding police investigations and fraudulent (a felony) credit card or banking usage.

First, Ashley Madison’s head office is in Toronto for their Canadian side “services”. We have very stringent requirements by federal law about record keeping. As in, we have a set number of years a business must keep records for credit card charges, banking, service fees, medical (the most strict is our medical records laws), school records, etc.

Most single proprietary businesses have a 6 year record storage retention requirement. However, certain records have different retention times, some even indefinitely.

When it comes to law enforcement however, some business records like employee records, revenue records and possibly customer records are required to be kept indefinitely depending on what industry the business functions and operates in. When it comes to anything that has taxes or banking (including credit cards) that file retention by the business can fall on third party entities on the behalf of both customer and business as well as the business and customer.

In other words, let’s say an ex spouse decides to get revenge and steals the other ex spouses credit card. Signs them up to Ashley Madison (stuff like this does happen – look at revenge porn incidents out there on the web) and now the ex spouse who had their stolen credit card used has to file a fraud report with police, police investigate, goes to Ashley Madison with a warrant for the information on the incident but vengeful spouse pays the 20 bucks to scrub that info…

…does anyone really think Ashley Madison legally can tell an RCMP officer here in Canada, nope sorry didn’t retain that info. Customer paid to scrub it off our servers. It is violating our records retention laws for customer/credit card transactions. It’s 6 years you have to keep that info but there is a twist to that 6 years.

6 years from the date of business income tax filing where that transaction was recorded. Meaning, if it is a repeat customer every year, that customer could be listed in the business income tax filings which is a revolving 6 year retention of records that can be continuous – paperwork, isn’t it lovely. It supports your tax claims and you must keep them to do so for up to 6 years. Don’t have it, CRA will audit you up the wazzo, can’t prove it – tax fraud …another felony.

It’s complicated. The above is a simple explanation that doesn’t take every variable into account.

In the end, Ashley Madison not only fraudently provided a pay for service to scrub the user end of their servers but mislead their customer base that their information would not be retained on some type of records server to fulfill their legal obligation to the Revenue Agency (United States has their own record retention laws too).

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