Ashley Madison customers will have to reveal their real identities if they want to sue the company, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.
42 plaintiffs are currently involved in a lawsuit against the company.
The plaintiffs are suing the company for lacking the proper safeguards to protect them from a massive hack that revealed the personal information of more than 32 million customers.
Before the hack Ashley Madison billed itself as a secure network that took extra steps to protect its customers’ identity.
The company even offered a “full delete” service that would permanently remove customer names from the database if they paid the company to do so. That service failed to materialize and hackers revealed those users’ personal information.
The plaintiffs are currently listed as “John Does,” because the judge had temporarily allowed them to file the lawsuit anonymously.
The customers suing Ashley Madison hoped to stay anonymous “to reduce the risk of potentially catastrophic personal and professional consequences that could befall them and their families,” according to the motion.
US District Court judge John Ross denied the plaintiffs’ motion in a ruling earlier this month.
Judge Ross said he would potentially revisit his decision if all or virtually all of the 42 plaintiffs drop out.