“Google will shut down the consumer version of its social network Google+ after announcing data from up to 500,000 users may have been exposed to external developers by a bug that was present for more than two years in its systems,” Arjun Panchadar and Munsif Vengattil report for Reuters. “The company said in a blog on Monday it had discovered and patched the leak in March of this year and had no evidence of misuse of user data or that any developer was aware or had exploited the vulnerability.”

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Google had opted not to disclose the issue with its Application Program Interfaces (API) partly due to fears of regulatory scrutiny, citing unnamed sources and internal documents,” Panchadar and Vengattil report. “Under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), if personal data is breached, a company needs to inform a supervisory authority within 72 hours, unless the breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedom of users. ‘It seems like the downside risk of having a story that says they intentionally hid information about a major breach from users is bigger than the upside of avoiding scrutiny,’ said Geoffrey Parker, an engineering professor at Ivy League college Dartmouth. ‘I wonder if there wasn’t more depth to the internal debate.'”

“Google said a software glitch in the social site gave outside developers potential access to private Google+ profile data between a major redesign in 2015 and March 2018, when internal investigators discovered and fixed the issue,” Panchadar and Vengattil report. “The WSJ report said that a memo, prepared by Google’s legal and policy staff and shared with senior executives, warned that disclosing the incident would likely trigger ‘immediate regulatory interest’ and invite comparisons to Facebook’s leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Google+ had 500,000 users*?

This ‘don’t be evil’ mantra: It’s bullshit.Steve Jobs, 2010

*suckers

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