Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Monday as much as 500 000 Google+ user accounts were potentially afflicted with an insect which may have exposed their data to external developers, as well as the firm is turning off the online community for consumers.
Google opted to not ever disclose the condition partly due to fears of regulatory scrutiny, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources and internal documents.
A software glitch from the social site gave outside developers potential entry to private Google+ profile data between 2015 and March 2018, when internal investigators discovered and glued the situation, the report said.
Shares of Alphabet Inc were down 2.6% at $1138.53.
The affected information is confined to static, optional Google+ Profile fields including name, email address contact info, occupation, gender and age, Google said.
“We found no evidence that any developer was conscious of this bug, or abusing the API, and now we found no evidence that any Profile data was misused,” Google said.
A memo, made by Google’s legal and policy staff and said to senior executives, warned that disclosing the incident could trigger “immediate regulatory interest” and invite comparisons to Facebook’s leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica, the WSJ report said.
Allegations of your neglect of information for 87 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica, which had been hired by President Donald Trump’s 2016 US election campaign, has hurt the shares on the world’s biggest online community and prompted multiple official investigations in the states and Europe.
Google Founder Sundar Pichai was briefed of the routine not to ever notify users after an enclosed committee had reached that call, in line with the WSJ.
In weighing whether they should call disclose the incident, the corporation considered “whether we will accurately know the users to tell, whether there was any proof misuse, and whether there have been any actions a developer or user might take in reply,” a Google spokesman told WSJ. “None of such thresholds were met here.”?