Sci-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”

The tech giant announced the decision at the same time that it disclosed that the privacy of up to a half-million Google+ accounts could have been affected by a "bug".

Allegedly, the glitch enabled outside developers to gain unauthorized access to the relevant for quite some time - from 2015 until Google's discovery in March of this year. Shares of Alphabet Inc fell by about 1 percent in response to the story.

According to Google, data that may have potentially been disclosed only includes "static, optional Google+ Profile fields including name, email address, occupation, gender and age". If you use the service for work, though, Google+ is not going anywhere. Google explains Strobe as "a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps' data access".

The issue was discovered and patched in March as part of a review of how Google shares data with other applications, Google said in a blog post.

According to the paper, the memo said that while Google could not find evidence that the exposed data had been misused, it also could not prove that misuse did not happen.

Writing in a blog post Monday, Google attempted to downplay the incident, saying it hasn't found any signs that the bug was exploited. According to a Monday Wall Street Journal report, Google chose not to disclose the breach to users due to fear of sustaining damage to the company's reputation and incurring more government regulation. In the aftermath of what appears to have been a major security flaw within Google+, the company ended up not disclosing the breach of information to its users.

It also announced other security features. Unfortunately, the reason they are finally shutting it down is because the service possibly exposed the data of 500,000 users' profiles.

Apps will be required to inform users what data they will have access to.

So the company felt that the site simply wasn't worth maintaining between its minimal traffic and its security threats, hence the ten-month period for users to migrate whatever data they need before it's taken offline in August 2019. The error allowed the details of nearly 500,000 people to be accessed by the applications, even when they had demanded that they keep their data private.

Google found up to 438 apps that used this API and 496,951 users may have been affected by this bug. The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: "90% of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds".

"Smith said that despite Google's engineering teams putting in a lot of effort, "[Google+] has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps.



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