1) Wells Fargo
In 2017, when the huge American banking conglomerate was subpoenaed to send over documents and email relating to the case, they accidentally sent over gigabytes of extremely sensitive information that included customer’s names, their Social Security numbers, and their banking history.
The files were handed over with no protective orders, making it technically legal for them to be revealed to the public. Luckily, the lawyer who the documents were turned over to, did the right thing and contacted Wells Fargo to let them know that they had made a mistake.
Had he not done that, approximately 50,000 clients could have had their details revealed as part of public record.
(Source: New York Times)
In order to spur further research into search histories, AOL posted their users’ search histories on a nascent research site. This turned out to be a terrible mistake when it accidentally exposed the web histories of many.
Although the identities of the users were ultimately a secret, anyone who knew what they were looking for could potentially identify someone by searching for themselves, family members or organisations that the person belonged to. This mistake could have potentially put people’s jobs and families at risk.
3) Home Depot
Sometimes, a very human mistake can put a company at risk, rather than a technological misfire.
For example, when Home Depot had a laptop reported either missing or stolen, it created a huge security issue for the company. The laptop contained sensitive information for almost 10,000 employees and now it was in the hands of someone that could potentially use that information with bad intent.
Although the case was ultimately put to rest with no damaging consequences, the reputation of the company itself was almost irretrievable.
For more information about how to protect your confidential documents, you can get in touch with the Confidential Document Destruction team today by giving us a call on 0203 146 0722 or via our contact page.