Biggest Data Loss Incidents Worldwide

Last month a hospital employee in Canada lost her memory stick containing the personal information of 25,000 patients. Against the rules of her employer she downloaded information from a computer at work and then she lost it. She reported the device missing a few days later. To prevent more incidents like this from happening the infirmary upgraded their privacy and security settings. The patients have been sent a letter of apology and a guarantee that no health issues or intimate details were on the memory stick.Biggest data loss incidents are shocking and sometimes so dangerous that you feel insecurity about your confidential information.

A few days before the incident there was a similar case in Canada involving the federal department of Human Resource Development. The organisation had lost the data on more than half a million Canadian loan applicants. This had happened when a portable hard drive vanished in November last year.

Canada’s privacy commissioner Chantal Bemier called it one of the biggest data losses ever seen. But is that actually true? Have a look at the following mind-blowing statistics on the largest ever incidents of worldwide data loss:

1. Last year Shanghai Roadway D&B Marketing Services Co. Ltd was involved in the largest incident of information fraud ever. The company had bought and sold the information of 150 million customers. Data about levels of income, job titles and addresses from 150 million Chinese residents was stolen and four people were arrested.

2. 130 million pieces of credit card data were stolen in 2009, when hackers breached the cards system of the fifth largest credit card processor in the world. The Heartland Payment card system was affected by malicious software. It is not known if the data has ever been recovered but the hacker was arrested. A lawsuit followed after the hack and the company agreed to pay to all the victims of the malicious hack.

3. 94 million credit card numbers and transaction details were exposed by hackers in 2007. The victims were the customers of TJX Companies Inc, the largest off-price department store chain in the United States. It has never been made public weather those responsible were ever arrested.

4. 90 million pieces of credit card data from credit reporting database TRW, Sears Roebuck was lost in 1984. It is not known whether those responsible were ever arrested. A lawsuit against the company followed after the loss of data.

3. 77 million customer addresses, birthdays, profile data, login details, purchase history and possibly credit card details were obtained from Sony PlayStation customers in 2011. It has not been made public if the data was recovered. A lawsuit followed after the loss of data.


 1 – 150 million

Shanghai Roadway D&B Marketing Services Co. Ltd

 2 – 130 million

Heartland Payment Systems

3 – 94 million

TJX Companies Inc.

4 – 90 million

TRW, Sears Roebuck

5 – 77 million

Sony Corporation


Rens is a blogger currently researching safe p2p file sharing.

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  1. Yogita Aggarwal January 31, 2014

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