Google Forced to Reveal Exposure of Private Data


Google says a bug in an API for its Google+ social networking service exposed personal details for upwards of 500,000 accounts, but adds that it believes the data wasn’t misused.

Google patched the bug in March but chose to not publicly disclose the problem, based on a recommendation made by its privacy and data protection office, writes Ben Smith, a Google fellow and vice president of engineering, in a blog post.

However, the company was forced to acknowledge the incident after The Wall Street Journalon Monday first reported on the data exposure. Citing anonymous sources and internal documents, the publication reported that Google feared it would be subjected to regulatory scrutiny and reputational damage if the details of the bug became known.

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