2018, what a year it has been for the tech industry. With January here, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest tech stories from 2018.
1. Facebook breach and data leaks
2018 had been quite a year for Facebook. The world’s biggest social network had been hit by several scandals. In March, it started with the Cambridge Analytics data leak which saw the collection of Facebook data revealing personality and biases of millions of Facebook users to target election campaign-based ads at them. Month after month, revelations about Facebook kept coming. 2018 couldn’t have been much worse for Facebook.
2. The year of the Bitcoin Bubble
Bitcoin had a rise-and-fall story in 2018. Heading into 2018, the cryptocurrency was at its peak, pushing the price of Bitcoin up well over $10,000. The world wasn’t sure what to do or how to react.
3. AT&T closes the Time Warner deal
After much back and forth, AT&T had acquired entertainment giant Time Warner in June 2018, for 81 billion dollars. The acquisition was delayed earlier because AT&T was sued by the Justice Department, arguing that it would limit competitors and raise costs. There has been a lot of criticism during the merger in recent years. Although AT&T and Time Warner aren’t direct competitors, it was feared that a merged company would create a media and telecommunications powerhouse, reshaping the landscape of those industries.
4. IBM Acquired Red Hat
At the end of October IBM acquired Red Hat for around 34 billion dollar, making it the biggest business deal involving an open source company yet. Red Hat is ready to be the first Linux (and open source) company to break the billion-dollar-per-quarter ceiling, especially now with its acquisition by IBM.
5. 5G starts to get real
5G is the next generation of wireless service, and it’s expected to bring a big boost in speed and network responsiveness, which open the door to a better mobile experience. AT&T has already launched a 5G network in a few markets, but it’s only available via mobile hotspots. AT&T and Verizon plan to launch mobile 5G in 2018.
6. Canada arrested Huawei CFO
In December 2018, Canadian authorities arrested Huawei global chief financial officer in Vancouver, Meng Wanzhou on US extradition charges. Meng was arrested at the request of the United States in Canada on suspicion of violating the American trade boycott of Iran. The implications of Meng’s arrest at the beginning of this month put the tech company Huawei in the spotlight.
Throughout 2018 Amazon has been in the news for various reasons as it continues to expand by delivering a diverse portfolio.
8. Amazon, Google and Facebook expand data center footprint
Amazon, Google and Facebook expanded their data center footprints in the United States and worldwide in 2018. The three tech giants accelerated data center constructions around the world. were some of the largest buyers of data center infrastructure in 2018 as they seek to meet increasing data and cloud demands.
9. Rise of AI
The uptake of AI will see a rapid increase in 2018, thanks to platforms like IBM’s Watson which provides AI and machine learning to a wider audience.
10. A year of data hacks
2018 had been defined by a series of high-profile data hacks and breaches. Marriott lost data on 500 million customers and Quora on 100 million users, and other companies like British Airways, Google and Facebook have all had huge data issues over the year. The breaches are teaching us that data isn’t safe online, no matter how big the company or website you give it to.