The people hiding behind titles like “Cuddly bear seeks cute bunny” or “Married man looking for passion” could have revealed more than they intended by placing the ads.
A simple search was enough to get the details – including full name, address, phone number and bank information – of thousands of people who had placed adverts in the “Marriage and Relationships” section of several newspapers.
The data disaster, revealed in Der Spiegel at the weekend, applied to several papers published by WBV, a subsidiary of publishing giant Axel Springer.
WBV manager Peter Prawdzik confirmed that several thousand people had been affected, and assured reporters that the problem, which was noticed on September 1, had been solved. But the magazine reports that the data of several hundred people were still on the internet on Friday.