I wouldn’t bother paying, no matter how much I wanted it kept quiet.
The data is just out there. It’s not under the control of any one party. Maybe you’d want to risk wasting the money if it was only the blackmailer- sure, they might screw you and expose you anyways, but for a small enough amount maybe it’s worth the risk.
But multiply that amount by all the unethical people who have access to this data, and you could bankrupt Bill Gates.
Anyone concerned about exposure should really be making plans to own up to it voluntarily. It’s pretty much impossible to prevent exposure at this point, but controlling the how and to some extent the when is still possible, and would be the best bet for minimizing embarassment and other problems.
Well, that’s for the people just cheating. Gay people and abuse victims might need to come up with a cover story about why their info showed up, but keep quiet until said story is needed. They face a lot worse than embarassment, they could actualyl be killed in some cases. So they should probably keep it quiet but be ready to deny if challenged and possibly have a cover story about a prankster friend or something.