In an internal memo, Google's legal team advised against revealing the incident as it would create "immediate regulatory interest and invite comparisons to Facebook's leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica", according to the WSJ's report. The bug was reported to have potentially allowed app developers to access profile data from even private accounts.
"None of these thresholds were met here.", she said.
The company is now responding to the incident and has detailed a set of data privacy measures, which includes shutting down Google+ for consumers. The glitch was live for almost three years, according to the reports, but Google decided not to make the breach public because it feared regulation.
Google+ launched in 2011 as the advertising giant grew more concerned about competition from Facebook, which could pinpoint ads to users based on data they had shared about their friends, likes and online activity.
Met Office issues upgraded amber alert for Cardigan area
The Met Office has issued a number of weather warnings for the unsettled conditions that impact large parts of the country. There is also the risk of further severe Southerly winds impinging onto Southern and Eastern coastal areas during the day.
Google+ will come to an end for consumers next August, but business users will still be able to use the service as an internal corporate social network.
Google has chose to shut down the consumer version of its failed social network Google+. The company found no evidence the information was misused by any developers, Smith said.
A flaw was discovered in March that exposed personal information of up to 500,000 people. In fact, 90%of Google+ user sessions only last less than five seconds. This method will better secure third party APIs with Google services, allowing for less data to be given to outside applications. It's also limiting said apps' ability to access private data outside of specific use cases. A spokeswoman for Google didn't immediately return a request for further comment. The campaign, titled "Don't Shut Down Google Plus", has more than 8,000 signatures at the time of writing.
A Google Australia spokesperson was unable to say how many local users were affected by the flaw, saying: "Every year, we send millions of notifications to users about privacy and security bugs and issues". The company was the target of a massive class action lawsuit in the United Kingdom after 4 million users had their personal data collected and allegedly used for targeted advertising.