2017 is drawing to a detailed, and I can solely hope that somebody doesn’t discover someway to interrupt one thing earlier than the 31st. With as many scandals and screw-ups as we discovered about this yr, I’d be shocked if somebody doesn’t handle to get another in earlier than the yr is definitely over.
Right here’s a fast rundown of the worst of the tech world’s messes this yr. I’d categorical a hope that 2018 will likely be higher, however I’d be afraid to jinx the longer term.
Google Worker’s Sexist Manifesto
There have been sexist scandals aplenty all year long, every simply as seedy and ugly because the final. The one which trigger the best upset was in all probability the screed penned by one James Damore, on the time an engineer for Google.
The Damore doc espoused what can, at finest, be described as backwards views concerning the variations between women and men, and why these may be the rationale for gender gaps or the dearth of girls in management positions. The interior memo was uncovered after it sparked a backlash throughout the firm itself.
Damore was fired from Google, with Sundar Pichai racing dwelling from trip with a view to guarantee each his staff and the general public that Damore’s views didn’t replicate the corporate values. His firing itself has drawn additional controversy, with some saying he shouldn’t have misplaced his job over having an opinion, even an unpopular one.
Equifax knowledge breach
On September eight, Equifax admitted the information of 143 million prospects had been stolen over a interval between Could and June this yr. The failure of such a big firm to guard its knowledge was a fuck-up of monumental, long-ranging penalties — notably because the breach wasn’t actually the results of intelligent hacking a lot as poor safety.
Equifax has since been investigated by Congress for its screw-up, and present CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. was compelled to confess he didn’t even know if his firm was encrypting its knowledge. We’re not fairly sure how the enterprise is even managing to climate such a storm.
WannaCry shuts down every little thing
On Could 12, a cyberattack known as WannaCry hit over 150 nations and affected 10,000 organizations. It exploited a safety vulnerability initially found (however not reported) by the NSA, attacking any unpatched computer systems working Home windows XP.
The attackers demanded ransom in bitcoin, and would seemingly have extracted a fortune in blood cash had a safety researcher not discovered a fast repair to cease the assault. Even he warned that the world seemingly hadn’t seen the final of this type of assault.
Russian advertisements all over the place
A number of firms this yr, together with Fb, Google, and Twitter have been compelled to confess to Congress that they’d promoting area to suspect Russian organizations who tried to affect the 2016 American presidential election.
The advertisements themselves principally focused contentious political points moderately than candidates. The intent seems to have been to create divisions amongst an American public more and more reliant on social media for information. Congress has repeatedly criticized the businesses for his or her incapability (or unwillingness) to adequately police their very own content material.
Uber’s complete yr, actually
It feels as if scarcely any month glided by this yr with out some dangerous information coming from Uber, and I might simply fill this complete article with the scandals surrounding the favored rideshare app.
For the sake of brevity, let’s simply cowl the highlights:
February: A former Uber worker alleges in a memo the corporate has an unsightly underbelly of sexual harassment and discrimination
February: Waymo information a lawsuit alleging Uber used stolen commerce secrets and techniques relating to autonomous tech
March: Uber is caught deceiving native regulation enforcement with a pretend model of itself known as Greyball
June: CEO Travis Kalanick resigns
August: The corporate is hit with 20 years of standard FTC audits after it allegedly failed to guard the data of its customers
November: Uber revealed it had coated up an information breach affecting 57 million prospects as a bug bounty program
Bear in mind, that’s simply what I’ve room for/can bear in mind off the highest of my head.
Once more, I’m not going to specific the useless hope that 2018 is healthier than this yr, and I’m scared to query the way it could possibly be any worse, lest it discover a solution to reply. But when it does wind up being barely much less contentious, I actually gained’t complain