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There were times this year when technology misfired or failed to work entirely — from giant internet outages and crippling ransomware attacks to a series of issues for Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook. (So many, in fact, it’s the one company we list twice here.)
Here is CNN Business’ list of some of the most noteworthy tech-tastrophes of 2021:
Citizen app misidentifies an alleged arsonist
The company had used a new product in its app called OnAir to broadcast the information about the suspect, but said it failed to follow its own verification protocols before circulating the information.
Ransomware attacks become big trouble
Two outages (briefly) take down much of the internet
The Fastly outage was spotted within a minute and lasted less than an hour for most affected websites, while Akamai let customers know of the problem within seconds and was able to fix it within four hours (and the company said most affected customers were offline for just minutes).
Facebook’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day
Monday, October 4, was awful on many fronts for the company that would soon be re-named Meta.
Zillow learns a hard lesson about estimating home prices with AI
The news was a stunning admission of defeat for the real estate listing company, which took a $304 million inventory write-down in the third quarter, saw its stock plunge, and said it planned to cut 2,000 jobs — a quarter of its staff.
Tesla “full self-driving” freaks out drivers (including CNN)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long touted the electric-vehicle company’s “full self-driving” software. By late 2021, however, it’s still not not fully autonomous — rather, it offers driver-assist features that require users to agree that they must remain alert at the steering wheel in case they need to take over. Additionally, only a small number of Tesla drivers have been able to try it out thus far, including a group of customers who’ve paid $10,000 apiece for access to the “beta” version of the feature.