Each year we see companies trip over their own feet. Scandals are high, and public distrust is even higher. But 2017 was the year for top corporate scandals. Here is a selection of the top five corporate scandals of 2017.
# 5: Uber – Sexual Harassment
Uber was embarrassed nation-wide after an employee revealed the company not only supported gender discrimination but covered up sexual harassment. A former engineer at Uber, Susan Fowler, reported she was sexually harassed at the multi-billion-dollar rideshare company. She wrote in her personal blog about the violation and described a company culture that invites gender discrimination.
- Company investigated claims
- CEO Travis Kalanick resigned
- Fowler invited to sign a book and movie deal
#4: Uber – Cyberattack Coverup
It’s bad enough to have one scandal, but Uber faced more backlash soon after Fowler’s accusations. The company reported more than 50 million accounts were hacked in 2016, and the thieves stole personal data. The data included information from drivers and riders. Uber covered up the incident and paid a $100,000 ransom to the hackers. Uber waited nearly 12 months before informing victims.
- Two senior officials responsible for the incident resigned
#3: Yahoo! – Accounts Hacked
A cyberattack hit Yahoo! in 2013. At first, Yahoo! reported in 2016 that one billion accounts were attacked. Then, the internet provider reported in 2017 that more than 3 billion accounts were attacked. It was the company’s worse cyberattack ever. The company was accused of covering up the seriousness of the situation, as the company has updated its numbers to every single account holder on its networks. Stolen information includes phone numbers, birth dates, security questions and answers, and passwords.
- Yahoo! publicly apologizes
- Yahoo! provided victims with a free credit monitoring service
#2: Equifax – Personal Data Stolen
Losing personal data on Yahoo! is scary but losing secret data on the nation’s second largest credit bureau is apocalyptic. Equifax reported that between May and July 2017 nearly half the nation’s population was at risk. Hackers stole confidential data from more than 145 million citizens including social security numbers, birthdates, addresses/phone numbers, security questions used for loan applications, and more.
- CEO Richard Smith resigned/retired
- Congressional investigation
- Federal criminal investigations
- Multiple lawsuits
#1: Facebook – Russian Election Meddling
Facebook revealed it was used as an unwilling accomplice to Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election. Facebook alleges Russia purchased thousands of online advertisements and created fake accounts designed to sway public vote. Advertisements primarily targeted Black Lives Matter, LGBT rights, immigration, and gun rights – all hot topic items with Donald Trump. Facebook has since revealed massive user data leaks.
- Congressional investigation
- Retaliation from public
- Decrease in user accounts
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