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Most memorable tech industry apologies of 2012: From Apple to Google to Microsoft

Bob Brown | Nov. 9, 2012
Tech vendors have been as bombastic as ever promoting the magical and amazing things their latest smartphones, cloud computing wares and network gear can do. When things go wrong, they're naturally a little less visible, but plenty of companies have sucked it up and done the right thing this year (perhaps with a little legal prodding here and there) and publicly apologized for minor and major customers inconveniences.

*Nokia's camera trick

Nokia's big Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 splash in September got off to a rough start when the company overreached in a video promoting the camera's Pureview camera technology. Yes, Nokia resorted to the old not-so-hidden cameraman trick.

As NW's Colin Neagle wrote in September, "Nokia was caught red-handed in a lie, after tech bloggers spotted a cameraman capturing a video the company claimed was shot with its new, highly touted Lumia 920 smartphone. After apologizing, Nokia posted a real video shot with the smartphone, displaying the optical image stabilization (OIS) camera technology that was faked on the first try."

Tech bloggers spotted in the video a reflection of a cameraman with a professional camera actually taking the shot of a women on a bicycle.

The company said its main fault was failing to publish "a disclaimer stating this was a representation of OIS only."


*Yahoo's massive breach

Yahoo apologized for a network breach in July that involved exposure of some 400,000 Yahoo user names and passwords, among other information. The breach was especially bad because it tied in with Gmail, Hotmail and other online accounts. The group claiming responsibility for the hack said it used a SQL injection. Yahoo's apology went like this: "At Yahoo! we take security very seriously and invest heavily in protective measures to ensure the security of our users and their data across all our products. We confirm that an older file from Yahoo! Contributor Network (previously Associated Content) containing approximately 400,000 Yahoo! and other company users names and passwords was stolen yesterday,July 11. Of these, less than 5% of the Yahoo! accounts had valid passwords. We are fixing the vulnerability that led to the disclosure of this data, changing the passwords of the affected Yahoo! users and notifying the companies whose users accounts may have been compromised. We apologize to affected users. We encourage users to change their passwords on a regular basis and also familiarize themselves with our online safety tips at"

*Path goes down wrong privacy path

Path, a social journal app for iPhone and Android devices, apologized in February after it came to light that the company was grabbing iPhone contact info and sticking it on its own servers. CEO Dave Morin wrote in part: "We made a mistake. Over the last couple of days users brought to light an issue concerning how we handle your personal information on Path, specifically the transmission and storage of your phone contacts. ... Through the feedback we've received from all of you, we now understand that the way we had designed our 'Add Friends' feature was wrong. We are deeply sorry if you were uncomfortable with how our application used your phone contacts."


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