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Best PR Fiasco: Choicepoint

Staff Pick

We have to hand it to CHOICEPOINT. The company spent years buying information on virtually every American while assuring privacy advocates that the information was safe. Yet all it took was a Nigerian crook posing as a legit business to compromise information on 145,000 Americans. Did ChoicePoint offer a full accounting of the scandal? Yeah, right! The company waited months before ’fessing up to a security breach. Then, when CEO Derek Smith finally talked, he said, “We didn’t expect organized criminals would attack us with this sophistication.” Derek, they used a fax machine! ChoicePoint shares tumbled, but before the scandal went public, Smith managed to sell thousands of shares, netting $13 million.

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