As online media turned to spotlight on the FaceBook security breach last week, another bug was discovered Monday for users of Google+. An estimated 500,000 users had their account information released to third party developers. The data released included name, date of birth, email, occupation, age and gender. While some of the users granted information to such parties, any Google+ friends listed in that user’s profile were also hacked.
But this issue is nothing new. The first notice of the bug was discovered in March. Google declined to comment in order to keep out of public scrutiny and government red tape. Taking place as early as 2015, the breach is estimated to have continued until March 2018.
It is estimated that information accessed was taken by up to 438 third party developers. There’s no solid count however – Google only has Application Programming Interface records, documenting communication between the apps from the past two weeks. No other records are available.
Many consider this to be the end of Google+, which was originally created as an alternative social media platform, comparative to that of FaceBook. While the site never rose to the popularity of FaceBook, the Wall Street Journal calls the security breach a proverbial “final nail on the coffin.”
On the federal level, there are no laws regarding the mandatory reporting of a security breach, but Google is using the exposed situation to allow users to personalize the access third party companies have to their own accounts.
While Google has been considered relatively safe for users in recent days, the company announced Monday that they will tighten the reins on third party access to their apps across device platforms.
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