The greatest tech lies of recent history
From 1990 the world has seen a massive change in science and technology and would not be exaggerated if we call it the greatest tech revolution of all time. From computers to smartphones and letters to WhatsApp things happened beyond our imagination, however, the massive changes brought good as well as bad. Technology helped us to uncover many big lies but as well as hide too many things and even show a different thing. Such lies created some of the biggest tech fraud in recent history where biggies like Google, Facebook are also involved. Here are some of the greatest tech lies of recent history.
The internet giant may achieve popularity due to its innovative approach that hails the company as the popular search engine and represent itself that it doesn’t compromise on users’ privacy. People were made to believe that Google is one of the most secure tech companies that respect users’ privacy. But in reality, Google has been caught lying multiple times even after getting exposed.
When it realised that Orkut is going down and they can’t beat Facebook as they were far behind from the social media giant, they quickly launched Google Plus in the hope to make another Orkut. However, the ambitious project saw massive downfall from the beginning, and people didn’t even bother to log in the site. But despite knowing the fact that people were not interested, it lied that 90 million users signed up for Gplus whereas, in reality, it forced everyone to register automatically through its popular products such as YouTube, Orkut and Gmail. People didn’t even know that they are already in Google Plus, and even the actual numbers of users were unknown.
In 2018, the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal made a wakeup call for everyone and even it proved that even Google is not secure as 5 lakh Google Plus users’ data were at risk due to a flaw. Though the company shut down Google Plus completely after the incident, however, it didn’t disclose it and chose to remain silent by citing the reason the reason it is not legally necessary. And it proved that even companies like Google can also lie about user security and signup, and its actions became the greatest tech lies of recent history.
Everyone’s favourite social networking site is not new to controversy, and in fact, the company started its journey from it and gained popularity as well due to this. Initially, the founder had been accused of copyright infringement; however, it successfully overcame the accusation. Later, it has been caught multiple times lying, and 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal became the biggest blunder for the company where people started #deletefacebook campaign including WhatsApp founder. The company had been accused of stealing users’ data by using its Terms & Conditions and even manipulating in favour of a particular political party.
However, it doesn’t end here. In 2015, it launched internet.org in the name of providing free internet to the underprivileged people. Though it seemed free, however, there are lots of flaws in the project. Firstly, it was not free and was providing limited access to the users and Facebook controlled the number of websites, unlike the mainstream internet where anyone can see any website. If users want to browse more websites, h/she has to pay more which is not a case for the mainstream internet. To worst, it forced every user on Facebook for auto signup to support the campaign in every country by hiding the fact they are doing it without their knowledge. Such actions faced massive backslash from many organizations and popular personalities including internet founder Tim Berners-Lee, and TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) ordered to stop the program. The free internet by facebook became another big tech lies of the 21st century which was not actually free.
Started in 2008, it became a sensation in 2017 due to the sudden rise of its value, and every next person who has the slightest knowledge of cryptocurrency started investing. Though there are many cryptos, still most of them were launched in 2018 in the hope to gain more attention. However, no one was able to beat Bitcoin which was touching the sky in terms of price. Its value increased 900% more in comparison to the 2008 launch where it was only $0.008 to $0.08 for 1 bitcoin. It was growing steadily, though high but became a boom in 2017. It made some people billionaires for a short period that made everyone excited, and people didn’t even bother to invest their hard earned money.
Despite getting warnings from major financial institutions including Goldman Sachs and Reserve Bank of India, many people invested their money, and as expected it hit its lowest value ever in 2018. The downfall even shook many risk taker investors to rethink about their investment strategy where people lose everything in the bubble. Such rise and downfall made Bitcoin the greatest tech lies of the 21st century.
Elizabeth Holmes/ Theranos
The Stanford University dropout who was described by Forbes as the youngest self-made billionaire due to the $9 billion valuation of her company now became the popular face of the largest tech fraud. She made the whole world fool for a decade in the name of a revolutionary invention that claimed to test various diseases by taking a very small amount of blood.
Forbes revised her net worth from $9 billion to zero in the same year (2015) it announced her as a billionaire and Fortune described her as the “World’s Most Disappointing Leaders”.
She started Theranos in 2003 when she was 19 years old which claimed that blood test can be possible using a small amount of blood which was opposed by many prominent medical professionals. But she didn’t hesitate t pursue her idea started expanding her company and even successfully get investment, however, a secret investigation by The Wall Street Journal exposed her lies. The decline started in 2015 after the investigation, and Holmes had no valid point to prove that her experiment is scientifically correct, and she even blatantly lied about the company’s revenue. Theranos finally filed a Warn act notice and formally dissolved its cash and assets in September 2018 and criminal charges were filed against Holmes and Theranos COO and President Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The claims to bring a revolution in medical science through Theranos proved to be another big tech lies in the tech sector.