Irish data regulator seeks information from Google on security bug

Google exposed user data, chose not to tell public - WSJ

Google opted not to disclose the issue partly due to fears of regulatory scrutiny, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources and internal documents. Google CEO Sundar Pichai was allegedly briefed on the company's plan not to notify users about the bug.

Google made the announcement in a blog post after the Wall Street Journal broke news of the vulnerability. Users (whoever they might be) have had plenty of time to download and migrate their data before the platform's final days arrive in August of next year.

"We discovered and immediately patched this bug in March 2018", Google said, but the flaw, which has existed since 2015, could potentially affected up to 500,000 Google+ accounts. In addition, 438 third-party applications may have used the application programming interface, or API, that allowed possible access to the data, according to Google.

According to the company, profile information like name, email address and age from some users was available to apps, even if users had not marked it public.

The company did a review of its third party developer access to Google accounts and Android device data and found a bug in the Google + People APIs.

The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers' expectations. The company stated in its post that there was no evidence "that any developer was aware of this bug, or. that any Profile data was misused".

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In light of the breach, google has announced that it'll be shutting down google+ over the next few months, while also limiting API access in other Google product apps like Gmail. Google said that 90 percent of all Google+ sessions don't last more than five seconds, confirming rumors that the site was more of a ghost town, when compared to Twitter and Facebook.

What's more, Google says these apps will have to agree to new rules around handling Gmail data and will be subject to 'security assessments'. Ben Smith, Google's VP of Engineering, disclosed more information about the security issue, and how it was discovered.

This bug helped outside developers to gain access to users personal data.

Google is at the centre of controversy this morning over a report of a massive user data breach that occurred past year, with the result that they will be introducing finer grain controls to limit access to user data on the web and Android - and also shutdown Google+ for consumers.

The company also admitted the low engagement statistics of Google+.

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