DailyPost 2188

Hacks prove how much we have progressed in safeguarding the technology and its manifestations, which have nearly transformed human existence beyond recognition. There are few digital tech giants which have led the way. With them and the newer even more pathbreaking ones will keep on breaking the tech glass ceiling over and over again. While it brings immense fortune, success and fame to the company, the transparency, credibility and trust tangle remain a matter of concern. The products and services sell but life is certainly beyond that and so are such iconic companies. Given their track record, with fair amount of certainty one might say that given a chance, they would camouflage a hack or hide a hack, for whatever peril it brings to the customer.

While we remain entangled in current Uber hack, let’s not take away our gaze from Uber Hack 2016, which can be an eye opener on how disastrous can be company’s response can be to a hack. Added to the underbelly practices which have been following / pushing world over, as brought forth by a whistle blower, gives us a fair of the business model, which has created some of these companies. Mercenary monetization of data, creating unassailable monopolies and complete opaque existence which teaching transparency to the world is their forte.

As a part of a settlement with US Department of Justice to avoid criminal prosecution, revelations are tumbling down from the Uber opaque cupboard. The company has now gone on to admit that there was a well-orchestrated cover up to a massive cybersecurity attack that took place in October 2016. This hack exposed the confidential data of 57 million customers and drivers. To save themselves from prosecution Uber now admits that its personnel failed to report the data breach to the Federal Trade Commission despite a pending investigation on the issue. What an audacity? What an incongruous mindset?

Uber was on the hack camouflage trajectory, being sure either it will pull it off in the best case and at the worst manage the consequences successfully. Money and near instant success can certainly take worst our of human propriety and credibility. The data breach was only revealed a year later when the company publicly disclosed it, as per Bloomberg. Only Uber can throw light on both the timing to disclose and the reason for delay. Uber would also know how much of damage they have incurred on their stakeholders, who completely trusted in them. The make-believe trust umbrella which large number of such companies specialise in creating, cannot withstand even the first shower. The hackers were paid $100,000 ransom to delete data and not publicize the breach to media or regulators. The new Uber CEO admitted that the cover up should not have happened.

Sanjay Sahay

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