5 companies that have faced a big data privacy breach in recent years

big data privacy

How many times have the newspapers reported data privacy breaches in the recent year?  Ever wondered about the harm, that it might have caused you?  It has been proven that the exposure of a data breach can be disastrous for both you and the company. Here is a list of all the companies that were charged with large-scale data privacy breaches in the recent year, in no particular order.

·         Facebook

Memes about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, facing trials have been all over the internet already. Facebook is an American technology company based in California founded in 2004 by some students at Harvard. It is perhaps one of the most popular apps used by people around the world. This was an additional charge, after the Cambridge Analytical Scandal. The vulnerability was clearly revealed, almost a year before hitting the newspaper.  A significant number of people had their data exposed and later, logged out of their account due to a bug. The exposed data might have been accessed by any third party. The obvious link to Russia and other possible links to foreign nations were suspected.  With investigations still underway, the news has been clearly snugged. This might have impacted around 540 million users. 

.       Yahoo

Thisgiant web service provider has had its own share of slander to deal with. Yahoo was founded in the year 1994 owned by Verizon Media.  The data privacy breach by this company was disclosed twice in the last two decades. The first one was reported in September 2016, involving the state-sponsored actors, believed to have gotten hold of, nearly 500 million users. The second attack was believed to expose 3 billion accounts.  The names, email addresses, and date of births of the users were twice mishandled. Besides the landslide loss that the company had faced, it could never regain its reputation as a trustworthy company again. The approximate loss of the company was valued at $350 million. 

.        Marriott / Starwood 

One might find these names unlikely, in this list of data breaches. The truth is, this international chain of hotels and resorts, could not protect their data fabric owing to poor Data Privacy Management, which was not detected until 2018. The hackers had gained access to the Starwood system exposing 500 million consumers’ information, for a period of 2018. The acquisition of Starwood in 2016 by Marriot did not stop this breach. The travel history and crucial private details including passport numbers. Even the bank transactions of a significantly high section of people were accessed. The New York Times accused a Chinese intelligence group at the roots of this massive attack. It is thought to be a strike on the privacy of the United States. 

.        LinkedIn

This is a popularly recognized American employment-oriented service. Over the past few years, this online service has been operating throughout the world. This was originally launched in the year 2003. In June of 2012, it faced its greatest tragic data privacy breach. No further investigation was conducted to reveal who might have been the attackers. A notification to change the passwords indicated a relatively smaller number in the year 2012. However, this number was revised in 2016. 165 million users are known to have been affected by this. Unlike some other companies, LinkedIn successfully bounced back to its pristine self, with its popularity staggering for the briefest amount of time.

.         Dubsmash

This New York-based video-sharing social media service hit the market in 2014. For a significant timeframe, the unique features and engaging designs of the app were popular all over the world. In late 2018, the personal information along with the user data like the user names, and email addresses of the users of this app were faced with the breach of their private data. This crime was of a greater degree as all these were later found in the Dream Market. Dream market is an online darknet. This hidden service was founded in 2013.   The data was sold to multiple companies including, MyFitnessPal, MyHeritage (92 million), ShareThis, Armor Games, and dating app CoffeeMeetsBagel. Though this breach was acknowledged by Dubsmash, the nuances of the theft and the details were never disclosed. An estimation of 165 million user accounts were risked by this unfortunate chain of events. This company has been recently taken over by Reddit.


It is extremely regrettable to note that the list does not end here. Over the last two decades, the usage of the internet has hiked by a remarkable margin. Personal data are a huge part of the internet. It is certainly unfortunate to have giant companies, with multinational reach risking out the personal information, and at times selling them for the company’s gain. The virtual world is manifested with the fear of private data breaches. One needs to be careful with sharing details and logging-in to various apps. It is always advisable to read the privacy policies, before plunging into them.