Corporate scandals seem to have dominated the news cycle more than ever over the past 10 years. Amid widening income inequality and the aftermath of the Great Recession, many of the past decade’s major corporate scandals also seem to expose deeper, more widespread problems — the decade’s major sexual harassment, product recall, corporate negligence, and fraud cases were rarely isolated incidents.
And while instances similar to some of the biggest corporate scandals of the decade can be found throughout the past century, others would be difficult to conceive of until fairly recently.
In the 2010s, technology and data mining has evolved to such a degree that software could allow cars to cheat on emissions tests, and an app that could harvest data to form an accurate picture of the voting public and potentially help tip an election. With technology continuing to improve, Americans are faced with new legal and ethical questions about the use of technology.
As 2019 comes to a close, 24/7 Wall St. identified the biggest corporate scandals of the decade. We considered events covered widely in news reports since 2010 in which a corporation was responsible for unethical or illegal activities. To measure the size of the scandal, we used our editorial discretion to highlight cases that involved catastrophic damage, deaths, or otherwise had a large impact on the general public.