57. AOL, Part 2
Sorry about that. But if you don't quit whining about it, we'll transfer you over to John in Customer Retention...
In an "attempt to reach out to the academic community with new research tools," AOL releases the search queries of 657,000 users.
Though AOL insists that the data contains no personally identifiable information, the New York Times and other news outlets promptly identify a number of specific users, including searcher No. 4417749, soon-to-be-ex-AOL-subscriber Thelma Arnold of Lilburn, Ga., whose queries include "womens underwear" and "dog that urinates on everything."
The gaffe leads to the resignation of AOL's chief technology officer and a half-billion-dollar class-action lawsuit.