Google exposed personal profile data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users and then made a decision to not let people know, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The announcement came on Monday, with Google saying in a blog post that they discovered a bug which could have allowed as many as 438 external apps to collect user names, email addresses, professions, gender and age without authorization.
The bug was discovered in one of the Google+ application programming interfaces (APIs) when the company conducted an audit of third party developer access to Google accounts and Android data, in a project called Project Strobe.
"Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we chose to sunset the consumer version of Google+", the company said in a statement.
Latest OnePlus 6T teaser further shows off the in-display fingerprint sensor
But, unfortunately, it requires quite a lot of space and the company had to ditch 3.5mm audio jack in the OnePlus 6T . Taking to its official Twitter account, OnePlus has scheduled October 30 as the launch date for the OnePlus 6T .
While Google says there is no clear misuse of profile data that occurred as a result of this breach, MacMillan of the Journal says it raises questions about the company's commitment to user privacy.
Soon after the article was published, Google engineering fellow and vice president Ben Smith disclosed the bug and Google's plans to shut down Google+ in a blog post. Presumably, they wanted to avoid a PR hit, as that was the same time that Facebook was being slammed in the media for not stopping Cambridge Analytica from stealing data from millions of users.
Google says that like other tech companies, it has encouraged third-party developers to "build on top of our various services".
Google does not yet have a lead EU Supervisory authority, as the breach apparently happened before the EU's new privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation, was implemented.
Google's handling of the situation is bound to make things more complicated for Pichai at a time when Facebook is taking renewed heat for another breach that may have affected at least 50 million accounts, according to computer-security experts. No developer exploited the vulnerability or misused data, the review found. Others include limiting what sorts of data that can be collected per transaction when users share their Gmail accounts and phone numbers.
Google has even admitted that no one actually uses Google+. "Whenever user data may have been affected, we go beyond our legal requirements and apply several criteria focused on our users in determining whether to provide notice", Google declared.
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