Hi-Tech

Google exposed data for hundreds of thousands of users

Google exposed data for hundreds of thousands of users

Google kept quiet for more than six months about its discovery of a bug that put at risk the personal data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users, the company said Monday, a delay that could spark a new round of regulatory and political scrutiny. According to an internal memo viewed by the Wall Street Journal, Google feared disclosing the issue would be detrimental to its reputation and draw unwanted regulatory attention.

According to the Wall Street Journal's sources as well as documents reviewed by the publication, a software vulnerability gave outside developers access to private Google+ user data between 2015 and 2018.

In a statement, Google said it believed the problem was not serious enough to inform the public.

"None of these thresholds were met here.", she said.

Parent company Alphabet Inc responded by announcing it would shut down Google+, a largely defunct social network launched in 2011 to compete with Facebook. Google says that there was no evidence that the information was misused, but that a total of 438 apps had access.

One of the changes that Google is making to help give users even more control over their data is more in-depth permission dialog boxes.

The company says it didn't find any evidence that any of the affected personal information was misused.




The WSJ report and Google blog both agree that Google discovered the bug in spring of 2018, although the motivation for what happened afterwards differs.

A bug in Google+ exposed the personal data of almost 500,000 people and Google chose not to disclose it out of fears of regulatory pressure.

Google+ will shut down for consumers at the end of next August, giving users time to download or transfer their data.

"The Data Protection Commission was not aware of this issue and we now need to better understand the details of the breach, including the nature, impact and risk to individuals and we will be seeking information on these issues from Google", the Irish regulator said.

They said the firm would now "sunset" the app, which failed to truly challenge market leader Facebook, citing "very low usage". Google declined to comment beyond its blog post. Google is also following from its limiting of Gmail scans by limiting which applications - namely, down to email apps - can do so.

Google+ was, of course, Google's response to Facebook that never quite caught on with consumers.


  • Trump angry after South Korea signals it may ease North Korea sanctions

    Trump angry after South Korea signals it may ease North Korea sanctions

    Kang did not specify what Pompeo was unhappy about, but said he asked "multiple questions" about the agreement's content. Kang's comments are likely to fuel speculation that Washington wasn't fully on board before Seoul signed the agreement.
    IPCC's Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C

    IPCC's Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C

    At the current rate of global warming , the world's temperatures are set to increase by another 1.5C between 2030 and 2052. Global Warming of 1.5 °C is the first in a series of Special Reports to be produced in the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Cycle.
    Ross Barkley reveals World Cup 2018 frustration following England recall

    Ross Barkley reveals World Cup 2018 frustration following England recall

    " I'm playing a little bit more and that's important to me because it's important to adapt on the pitch by playing matches ". Don't write Chelsea out but they need a real "goal-getter".
  • Khashoggi case should not be politicized, says United Nations  expert

    Khashoggi case should not be politicized, says United Nations expert

    A former United States intelligence official said the details in the intercepts do not indicate any intention to harm Khashoggi. Pressure, meanwhile, mounted in Congress for the Trump administration to address the writer's disappearance.

    Soyuz launch to ISS aborted after booster failure

    NASA said search and rescue crews were en route to the projected landing site, expecting to arrive in about 90 minutes. A Soyuz rocket carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40 a.m.
    Reasons Why Princess Eugenie Is the Most Relatable Royal

    Reasons Why Princess Eugenie Is the Most Relatable Royal

    They are protective over their young children, and choose not to show their children's faces when they post on social media. Prince Edward's children, 14-year-old Lady Louise Windsor and 10-year-old Viscount Severn will be special attendants.
  • Trump calls Kavanaugh sexual assault claims a hoax

    Trump calls Kavanaugh sexual assault claims a hoax

    Any member of the public can file a misconduct claim against a judge on the circuit where he sits, she noted. Steve Petteway/Supreme Court of the United States.
    Bankruptcy looms for U.S.  store giant Sears

    Bankruptcy looms for U.S. store giant Sears

    Sears , once the world's largest retailer, has struggled in the face of declining foot traffic in its stores. Sears warned it could go out of business as it waits for approval from the committee on the deal.

    WHAT'S HAPPENING: Historic Hurricane Michael hits Florida

    In Panama City Beach, a building that was still under construction didn't stand a chance against Michael . A child was killed in Seminole County, Georgia during the storm, emergency management officials said.
  • Pakistan requests International Monetary Fund  for bailout package

    Pakistan requests International Monetary Fund for bailout package

    Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe, could be particularly hard hit by a drop in manufacturing orders and trade volumes. The most recent was in 2013 when Islamabad got a $6.6 billion loan to tackle a similar crisis.

    Two Britons believed dead in Majorca flood

    The British Foreign Office says it's investigating reports that a British couple are among those people who've been killed. Public broadcaster TVE showed footage of flooded streets and overturned cars along the guardrails of a major road.
    Mitch McConnell is standing by Lisa Murkowski Kathryn Krawczyk

    Mitch McConnell is standing by Lisa Murkowski Kathryn Krawczyk

    In less than 21 months, the Senate has confirmed two Supreme Court justices, 26 circuit court judges and 41 district court picks. Trump on Twitter on Tuesday said he was "very proud" of Kavanaugh and his family, and disparaged the anti-Kavanaugh protesters.