Google Aware Of Large-Scale Data Breach But Chose Not To Disclose It

Google Aware Of Large-Scale Data Breach But Chose Not To Disclose It

The bug was patched in March 2018, but Google didn't inform users at that point.

The company revealed that the usage and engagement of Google+ is even lower than some might have guessed, as 90 percent of user sessions lasted less than 5 seconds.

"The story here isn't really the potential data breach (which may affected hundreds of thousands) or that Google is shutting down Google+", proclaimed Mac.

The company added that it made a decision to sunset the consumer version of Google+ due to the significant challenges in creating and maintaining it and its very low usage.

The profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ accounts were potentially affected. It's by far the most popular use of the social network. However, the announcement came moments after The Wall Street Journal reported Google had opted not to disclose a bug affecting Google+ users at least in part to avoid additional regulatory scrutiny. The company has said that following an internal investigation in the issue, it has found that there was a bug in the software of Google+ which had exposed user data to outside developers during 2015-March 2018 time period.

Google is also updating Gmail's User Data Policy for the consumer version to limit access to user data.

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"It has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps", wrote Ben Smith, Google's vice president of engineering, in a blog post on Monday.

The API allowed users to grant access to their and their friends' profile information to apps.

Google can not confirm which users were specifically impacted by this bug.

Despite that, the company plans to keep Google+ operational as an enterprise product, allowing companies to use it as an internal communication platform for employees. Google's public statements state that it has found no evidence that any user profile data has been misused. The service will wind down over the next 10 months, with the goal of finishing the shutdown by the end of August 2019. "Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate 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", it said.

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