It was the scandal of the summer: AshleyMadison.com, the dating and social networking service that markets itself to would-be cheaters, was cyberattacked, and the names and contact information of purported members—including celebrities, congressional staffers and evangelists—were revealed online. Soon after, plaintiffs lawyers lodged class action litigation on behalf of website users.

The chain of events—a high-profile data hack, followed by proposed consumer class actions—was a familiar one. Prior data breaches at big-name companies, including 2013′s Target Corp. hack and the hack at Home Depot Inc. in 2014, spurred similar lawsuits.

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