Liars, Thieves, and Exploding Telephones: 10 Years of Tech Scandals

galaxy note 7 virtual fireplace news

The Apple Watch, the Galaxy Fold, the iPad, VR headsets, voice assistants, and a complete lot extra thrilling tech has been birthed over the past 10 years, and we’re grateful for nearly all of it. The transformative impact they’ve had on our lives can’t be overstated, blah, blah, blah.

Singing the praises, once more, of all these nice improvements is all nicely and good, however what in regards to the flip facet? What occurred within the know-how trade that generated scandals worthy of the tabloids, triggered potential business-ending disasters, price corporations tens of millions, or turned executives crimson within the face?

ten years of tech tenyearsoftech 4

Now that’s far more fascinating. You already know the Apple Watch is the perfect smartwatch on the market, however do you keep in mind  Samsung’s Vice Chairman going to jail in 2018?

Yeah, thought that may get your consideration. Let’s dig in, and see who our doubtful “winner” is for the most important tech scandals of the last decade.

The explosive Samsung Galaxy Notice 7

We’re kicking issues off with a bang right here! Sorry, we needed to. After a number of Galaxy Notice 7 telephones exploded whereas being charged, Samsung was compelled to finish manufacturing and recall the ill-fated telephone. It reportedly price the corporate a whopping $5.four billion as soon as all was mentioned and executed. Even a couple of airways banned onboard use of the telephone. Such widespread publicity and proliferating experiences severely threatened to be the top of the Notice collection fully. It was such an enormous story, we even had a information on how you can return your fiery Galaxy Notice 7.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7Keith Pierro/Gold & Gold, P.A

A catastrophe that may’ve crushed lesser corporations didn’t find yourself affecting Samsung’s status, nonetheless, or Notice followers’ thirst for brand new . Samsung returned with the Galaxy Notice eight, which was met with essential acclaim, emphasizing the work it had executed to make the battery safer. Since then, the collection has gone on to change into one of many perfect telephones you should purchase yearly. Samsung finally reissued the Notice 7 because the Fan Version, with essential fixes to the battery, in some markets as a result of folks nonetheless simply liked it so darn a lot.

Samsung’s vice chairman convicted on bribery

Though it made no distinction to Samsung’s enterprise financially, this was the definition of a scandal. It had all the pieces: a billionaire govt and inheritor to the Samsung throne, political ties that went all the best way to the highest, horses price tens of millions used for bribery, and footage of mentioned govt in handcuffs being led away by the cops. What extra may you need?

top tech stories lee jae yong samsungChung Sung-Jun/Getty Photos

The story ran for months as element after juicy element was revealed. The top consequence was Samsung’s vice chairman Lee Jae-yong being arrested and sentenced to 5 years in jail in 2018, discovered responsible of bribing advisors to South Korea’s then-president Park Guen-hye, so as to cement his place on the head of the agency and achieve approval for a key enterprise merger. Once more, like fallout from the Notice 7, Samsung didn’t appear to undergo a lot.

Andy Rubin

Like nearly all scandals, this one concerned cash. Numerous cash. In 2014, Andy Rubin, the person who created the Android software program platform left Google with a $90 million handshake and reward from the whole staff, together with chief govt Larry Web page. In 2018, it got here to mild that Google had investigated Rubin for sexual misconduct, and located the accusations “credible,” the yr earlier than he left. Google, undeterred, swept this apart and the $90 million was paid out, along with a month-to-month installment of $2 million for 4 years. Google even invested in Rubin’s subsequent enterprise, Important, too. The repercussions of the accusations towards Rubin continued into 2019, when he teased the Important Telephone 2, and was met with pushback from trade observers, journalists, and different rightfully upset spectators.

For these looking for context, see this thread:

— David Ruddock (@RDRv3) October 9, 2019


The ride-sharing agency has had too many scandals over the previous ten years to checklist individually, or to single one out as “the worst.” From former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s lower than savory conduct and subsequent resignation to Uber driver’s persistent complaints of pay to sexist remarks, spying on riders, strategies to dig up dust on journalists, and $20 million greenback fines over false promoting, Uber has executed a terrific job of staying within the headlines — for all of the fallacious causes.

Sony information hacks

Not one hack however a number of ensures Sony a place within the prime ten. In 2011, the account particulars together with names and addresses of 77 million PlayStation Community account members had been stolen, resulting in a shutdown of the service, and lots of sad avid gamers. Simply months later, one other hack uncovered personal info on these working in Sony Photos, part of the corporate that suffered once more a couple of years later in 2014.

Sony X900FDan Baker/Digital Traits

It was then that Sony Image’s company e-mail system was hacked, exposing each monetary particulars and embarrassing emails, which amongst different issues, revealed a disparity between pay for female and male film stars. The brilliant facet? Silly comedy film The Interview’s launch was hobbled as a result of threats of terrorism towards theaters that confirmed the film.

Theranos scammed a whole bunch of tens of millions of

A startup with an astronomical valuation of $9 billion promised to conduct blood checks not with a needle, however with solely the quantity of blood collected from a finger prick. Besides it couldn’t ship, and apparently did all the pieces it may to cover this truth as excessive profile traders, together with Rupert Murdoch and Walmart heirs the Waltons (in addition to companions like Pfizer and Walgreens) continued to pour cash into the enterprise. Founder Elizabeth Holmes and her enterprise accomplice are being investigated by the federal government for fraud.

10 tech scandals last years elizabeth holmesNurPhoto/Getty Photos

Charismatic Holmes, like all eccentric Silicon Valley CEOs accused of crimes or in any other case, has stayed within the information as a result of trial, and even acquired protection after a shock marriage. A film is even being made about this twisty story. Theranos’ story has not performed out but, however to get absolutely updated with what has occurred thus far, learn the fascinating e-book Unhealthy Blood: Secrets and techniques and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup for extra.

VW faked emissions outcomes

Scandalous company conduct at its best possible. Or worst, when you like. Volkswagen finally admitted, after investigations started in 2015, that it used software program put in on its autos to idiot checks carried out by authorities organizations into considering its vehicles had been significantly extra environmentally pleasant than they really had been. The corporate paid dearly not simply in status, but in addition by way of compensation, fines, and a $20 billion hit on its firm worth. It’s nonetheless dragging on too, as the category motion lawsuits within the U.Ok. solely began initially of December.

Elon Musk

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk stands in front of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla's CybertruckFREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty Photos

Breaking unbreakable home windows on unattractive, angular autos is one factor, however having to pay a $20 million settlement in a case led to by the SEC is one other. Over what? Tweeting a throw-away joke about taking the corporate personal, sending the inventory tumbling, and subsequently deceptive traders. Tesla additionally obtained hit with a $20 million superb, and Musk needed to step down as chairman of the corporate for no less than three years. Add in “pedo man” feedback, threats to start out an internet site to charge journalists’ credibility, brushing apart analysts questions throughout earnings calls, and smoking marijuana throughout a live-streamed podcast, and also you’ve obtained simply a number of the many the reason why Musk is likely one of the most divisive people of the previous decade.

Yahoo information breach

A two-part safety fail offers Yahoo the undesirable honor of the biggest hack by way of stolen accounts seen over the previous ten years. Again in 2013 and 2014, information from three billion Yahoo accounts was stolen. Sure, three billion, or in different phrases, each Yahoo account there was. Names, addresses, passwords, and later, safety questions and solutions had been all stolen — apparently by totally different hacking teams. Its tarnished status didn’t cease Verizon paying practically $5 billion for the corporate in 2017, however it couldn’t protect Yahoo from an costly class motion lawsuit that’s nonetheless not settled at the moment.

Cambridge Analytica

facebooks f8 keynote proves the company sees no reason to change us internet lifestyle computers mediaJosh Edelson/AFP/Getty Photos

Knowledge from 87 million Fb customers was illegally mined and used to allegedly manipulate the Presidential marketing campaign in 2016, and the Brexit vote within the U.Ok., together with accelerating the alt-right’s accession to mainstream recognition. One of the current scandals on our checklist, the story behind it’s nonetheless being instructed, and the long-reaching implications of how our information is used and abused could not have been absolutely realized both. These taken with understanding extra about how life has been modified by Cambridge Analytica and our on-line information can now learn two books on the topic written by folks instantly concerned.

Our winner

It’s laborious to decide on, isn’t it? Liars, cheats, prison convictions, medicine, theft, bribery, and numerous very scummy conduct make this one of the vital hard-fought shootouts we’ve ever held. So tough in truth, that the choice has been made to present all these competing an award — making it a draw. Congratulations everybody, it is best to all be equally ashamed of yourselves.

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