Hi-Tech

Google exposed personal data of nearly 500,000 and didn't disclose it

Google exposed personal data of nearly 500,000 and didn't disclose it

As a result of a software bug related to the APIs used for Google+, 438 apps potentially had access to names, birthdates, email addresses, profile photos, occupations and more data covering 496,951 Google+ users.

In the blog post, Google said it did not immediately announce the problems with Google+ because it was not sure which users to inform, who they were and what affected users could do to protect themselves.

Ireland's data protection regulator said on Tuesday that it would seek more information from Alphabet Inc's Google (GOOGL.O) regarding a security issue that may have exposed the data of at least 500,000 users to hundreds of external developers. "We chose to sunset the consumer version of Google+", the company said in the post.

A Wall Street Journal report published at the same time with Google's blog post claimed the API bug was far worse, and might have leaked user data since 2015, being only discovered when Google engineers started prodding Google sites for privacy leaks in preparation for the EU GDPR deadline.

Google+ will be shut down over a 10-month period, concluding in August 2019, as Google admits that it never gained the traction they had hoped. Unlike in the European Union, where data breach notices are mandatory within three days of the event due to laws such as the recently passed GDPR, the USA doesn't yet have federal laws regulating data breach notices.




The desire to peer into people's lives is one of the reasons that Google launched Plus in 2011. It did not include phone numbers, the content of emails or messages, or other kinds of communication data. According the WSJ, Google CEO Sundar Pichai both knew of and agreed with the decision not to plan to not disclose the data exposure.

Because of all of this, Google announced that it would be shutting down Google+ for consumers.

'We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any profile data was misused, ' Smith said.

Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, accessed information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge. Google Play will limit the types of apps that are allowed to request these permissions-only your default app for the given situation will be able to access this info.

To crack down on potential misuse data, Google will only allow third-party Gmail apps that directly involve email functionality, such as email clients, backup services, mail-merge services, and expense tracking. "None of these thresholds were met here", the spokesperson said.


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