Date: August 2006
In 2006, AOL accidentally released a file with the search data of over 650,000 of its members. While AOL user names were swapped out with random ID numbers, the wealth of leaked information -- social security numbers, addresses -- made figuring out the identities of those users possible. AOL pulled the file down, but the information had already spread. "This was a screw-up, and we're angry and upset about it," the company said it a statement. "It was an innocent enough attempt to reach out to the academic community with new research tools, but it was obviously not appropriately vetted, and if it had been, it would have been stopped in an instant."