Netflix Sued After Sending Not-So-Anonymous User Data to Researchers
In 2009, Netflix faced a flood of criticism, a class action lawsuit, and the loss of user confidence when it released a huge set of improperly anonymized data. While the company took some steps to remove personal identifiers, researchers were able to identify customers by comparing reviews with other online sources. In the aftermath, Netflix was hit with a class action suit filed on behalf of a Netflix customer who was concerned the data would reveal her sexual preference to her intolerant community. After waves of bad press, the case settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.