Alphabet, a Google subsidiary, said today that up to 500,000 Google+ user accounts may have been affected by a virus that may have exposed their data to external developers, and the company shuts down the social networking service for consumers.
Google chose not to reveal the problem mainly because of regulatory scrutiny fears earlier in the Wall Street Journal earlier in its publication, citing anonymous sources and internal documents. A malware on the social networking platform gave developers potential access to private Google+ user data between 2015 and March 2018 when the company’s researchers identified and corrected the problem, says WSJ.
“We have not found any evidence that a developer was aware of this virus or misuse of the API, and we have not found any evidence of abuse of profile data,” Google said, as Reuters and the French Agency are broadcasting.
A memorandum, prepared by the law firm and executives responsible for company polic y and notifying high-level executives, warned that revealing the issue could possibly cause a “direct regulatory interest” and make comparisons with Facebook user data leakage to Cambridge Analytica, says WSJ.
Google CEO Sundar Pitsai was aware of the plan not to notify users after an internal committee reached that decision, the report said.