Worst Scandals of the Last Decade

Here are some of the worst scandals of the last decade by category:

Data Breaches


In 2017, hackers targeted Equifax, compromising the personal information of more than half the US population (147 million Americans). The hackers gained access to credit card details, Social Security numbers, and the like.


In 2018, Marriott revealed that hackers had stolen over 500 million guests’ personal data. 



In 2015, there were accusations against Volkswagen, stating the company used illegal defeat devices to evade diesel emissions standards. While the company initially blamed a group of engineers for the fraud, former CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged in Germany and the US. As of 2019, the company had paid $33 billion in settlements and fines.


In December 2019, Boeing halted the production of the 737 Max aircraft, which was involved in two disastrous crashes that killed 346 people. Boeing decided to do so nine months after grounding the jet in response to the two incidents. This was the worst crisis in Boeing’s then 103-year history.

Toxic Work Culture


In 2015, the corporate culture at Amazon was in the news when the Times detailed a cutthroat environment where employees cried at their desks.


In early 2017, Uber came under fire when Susan Fowler wrote a blog post detailing her sexual harassment experience at work. Later, other Uber employees made similar allegations. The company had followed a growth-at-all-costs approach for years, defying laws and reducing the pay for divers. In response to pressure from shareholders, CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down from his position.

The downfall of social media

While the last decade saw the influence and reach of social media platforms (such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) grow exponentially, it came with its own set of problems. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter became breeding grounds for harassment, misinformation, and hate speech.

In 2016, Facebook found itself in trouble when it was discovered that the company had enabled Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. One hundred and fifty million Americans got exposed to content generated by the Russians.

These were some of the many worst scandals of the 2010s.