The Google Plus breach has been the top news this week in the technology arena. And now we are hearing concerns about data security and privacy from the Congress too. Senators from Congress have sought explanations from Google on the Google Plus breach. They want to know why Google chose to remain silent on the vulnerability of thousands of user accounts and why didn’t it informed its users on time.
Senetors’ appeal to Google on recent Google Plus leak
Three senators of the Republican party have written a letter to Google headquarter seeking details on the recent Google Plus data breach. They also asked for a copy of the internal memo that Google circulated among its employees. The memo contains the ‘instructions’ to not disclose the Google + data leak. This step by Google is regarded very wrong on many fronts. It doesn’t only violate the basic privacy rights of the users, but also put their personal information and lives in danger.
Almost shaming Google on its decision to hide the data breach, the senators exclusively mentioned the gesture of transparency from the Facebook; regarding its recent privacy debacle. They mentioned in the letter that Facebook came upfront with the privacy concerns and its efforts to facilitate the users on this matter; while Google decided to remain silent on the grave matter and tried to hide the vulnerability of user data.
More details on the Google memo regarding Google Plus breach
The presence of an internet memo came to light in the same news report; that initially disclosed the news about the Google+ data breach. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google’s policy and legal wing dispersed a memo regarding the issue; among the top executives of the company; encouraged them not to disclose the matter in the best interests of the company.
The memo also mentioned the repercussions of the public and government backlash on the recent privacy breaches on other companies such as Facebook. The policy and legal team feared that the disclosure of the data breach will make the Google CEO Sundar Pichai testify before the Congress; just the Facebook CEO did some time ago.
More Details on the Google Data Breach
According to the Wall Street Journal Report, the security bug existed in the source code of Google Plus since 2015. Google only managed to discover the bug in March 2018; and until then, the bug had disclosed information of up to half a million user accounts. The information that was vulnerable due to this bug included username, gender, occupation, and user location.
As soon as the Google Plus security bug was discovered, Google decided to close down the social media platform immediately for the public. They also brought major changes in the privacy and security settings; this included revisions in the access levels of the third-party organizations.