New data protection rules are being implemented by the European Union, which will take effect on May 25, 2018. With these new laws, the people have more control over the way their personal information is utilized online. The rules are being implemented in the wake of scandals involving sloppy personal data protection processes, such as at Facebook where Cambridge Analytica, US-British political research firm, was capable of harvesting the data of 87 mn Facebook users. Another case is of Grindr, the self-proclaimed largest gay dating app across the world, where it admitted to sharing data on the HIV status of its clients with third party software vendors in April, 2018. Such scandals however, are less frequent than cases, in which, the data is stolen through hacking the websites.
Here is a snapshot of the biggest of these attacks:
Uber – November 2017
Uber, the ride-sharing giant was maligned after the hacking of its website in 2016, in which the data of its 57 mn drivers and riders were compromised. This hacking was unveiled only in November 2017. The company was also criticized for giving the hackers US$100,000 to destroy their testimonies.
Yahoo – October 2017
The Yahoo cyber-attack, which trails back to 2013, is considered as the biggest cyber-attack in the history. It affected all of the 3 bn accounts at Yahoo. Verizon disclosed this information in October 2017, after it acquired Yahoo’s online assets in June, 2017. Yahoo, however, stated that the stolen user information did not comprise passwords in clear text, bank account details, or payment card data. Another hacking attack on Yahoo, which took place in 2014, affected nearly 500 mn accounts but was revealed only in September 2016. Altaba, Yahoo’s financial arm, was fined US$35 mn for this.