It is like only yesterday that Microsoft’s AI Bot ‘Tay’ went rouge on Twitter; the company had to shut it down. It was termed as one of the biggest technology failures of 2016. Now, we have come more than a year ahead. It’s only fair that we look back at some of the tech developments and news (and blunders and fraudulent) of 2017 to see which ones were the foremost losers in the lot.
Here are 3 of our best (or worst) picks:
1. ICO EOS Tokens
2017 would go down in history books as the year when Cryptocurrencies marched into the mainstream. People were raging after Bitcoin (and Ethereum and Ripple) to buy more. This led to the rise of ICO. Initial Coin Offering is to the crypto world what Initial Public Offering (IPO) is to the stock market. Companies issue ICO to crowd-source funds. In exchange, the investors are promised money, other Cryptocurrencies or company’s products.
However, last year, Block.one – a new startup – came into the spotlight for raising $700 million by issuing ICO namely EOS token. Interestingly, these EOS tokens hold virtually no value whatsoever. In fact, the company itself has said that its coins have no “uses, purpose, attributes, functionalities or features.”
So why did people invest in this ICO? Nobody in the world knows exactly why!
2. ‘Uber’ of controversies
Indeed Uber is the world’s leading ride-hailing app. However, by every passing month and year, it’s finding it hard to stay true to its recognition and incredible growth. This year, too, the company fell in a ruckus of controversies.
First, Uber employees voiced complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace. Following that, an internal investigation was setup—the company fired 20 people. Second, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, sued Uber for allegedly stealing its trade secrets.
Third, after keeping it a secret for a year, Uber officially disclosed that its data of 57 million driver and rider accounts was hacked in October 2016. Fourth, according to New York Times, the company unfailingly made efforts to monitor and evade law enforcement officials through a secret program called “Greyball”.
At last, after the so many storms and wide revolt from the shareholders, Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick finally resigned from his post.
We know, phew…
Want to boycott this app already?
3. Data Breach At Equifax
Equifax is one of the leading consumer credit reporting agencies. You would think they have a foolproof infrastructure. But no!
In 2017, hackers exploited a weak point of Equifax’s website software, eventually penetrating in the system and gaining access to sensitive social security numbers and driver’s license numbers of as many as 145 million Americans. Funnily (and sadly), the people affected by this large data breach never even opted-in to Equifax. They were, by default, a part of this if they have any credit.
Now millions of people are vulnerable to identity theft. The hackers can easily use individual’s information to apply for credit at a lender. And the worst of all is, even if someone is trying to safeguard themselves in this hacking aftermath, they are going to have to pay fee to freeze their credit.
Stress, hassle, and unnecessary expense! Talk about tough life…
These are 3 big technology failures that, we think, 2017 will be remembered for. Of course, there are plenty others that kept the past year quite a roller-coaster. Let’s hope, 2018 doesn’t become this much spicy.