Google discloses software bug that exposed personal data of Google Plus users

Source: The Hill | October 8, 2018 | Harper Neidig

Google on Monday revealed that a software bug exposed data on as many as 500,000 users of Google Plus, the company’s social network program.

In a blog post, Vice President of Engineering Ben Smith said that the company discovered in March that a glitch was giving third-party developers access to private information like names, email addresses and occupations in some user profiles.

“We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any Profile data was misused,” Smith wrote.

The company said it would be shutting down Google Plus.

The company said as many as 438 developers had access to the information.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the incident, said part of the reason Google decided not to reveal the incident when it was initially discovered was because it would attract unwanted attention from regulators at a time when Facebook was facing criticism from Washington over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

According to Smith, the Google Plus breach was not damaging enough to warrant notifying the public.

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