Recently, Google has announced about the shutdown of Google Plus. It has remained a debatable and unanswerable question for Google to reciprocate Facebook’s giant social network. It happened so because the private data of 500,000 users have been exposed and resulted in a blunder called to be security vulnerability.
In the month of March, Google found this security issue but did not inform its users about it as no exposure of data and access to users’ information were traced. Even the company’s “Privacy & Data Protection Office” thought of this security issue as unimportant and decided to not tell the people about it on a legal basis. This decision pricked up the ears of the cybersecurity community and resulted in new rules in California and Europe. The new rules included when a company should disclose a security episode publically to save the public’s data and information.
The company stated a statement that around 438 applications formulated by other companies would have accessibility to the vulnerability via coding links known as application programming interfaces. They also added that the developers from outside might have received an access to users’ names, email addresses, occupation, gender, and age but not to their phone numbers, messages, Google Plus posts or data from other Google accounts.
In one of its statements, Google said that it had traced no affirmation regarding the awareness of outside developers in relation to the security flaw that has taken place and whether any user profiles have been touched. This issue was fixed in an update that took place in the month of March.
Google set a track on the kind of data involved so that the users can be informed accordingly on the basis of information and data collected. It traced whether any misuse of users’ information has been initiated or any action should be launched by a developer or a user in the response of the same.
This exposure to information could receive a supplementary perlustration. It is all because of a memo was given to the senior executives prepared by Google’s policy and legal teams that stated a warning for the company.
According to one of the known journals, the memo has a warning regarding the repercussions that might take place after disclosing this security problem and would even bring regulatory investigation. For the affirmation of the same, Sundar Pichai, Google’s Chief Executive would be called in front of Congress. No comment was m on the memo due to the declination by a Google spokesman, Rob Shilkin. He exclaimed that the company has its own plans and will make an announcement in relation to disclosure later this week but it was postponed when the company learned about this Journal’s article.
In the same year itself, it was found by Facebook that Cambridge Analytica, a British research organization has operated work for the Trump campaign and had unknowingly received an access to 87 million Facebook users’ personal data. A deep investigation was implemented by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Chief Executive for two days to testify in congressional hearings about the prevailing issue.
In the month of May, a new General Data Protection Regulation law was generated in Europe that says that companies will notify regulators whose personal information has been leaked within a matter of 72 hours. But before the launching of this new law in May, Google faced the security issue in March, unfortunately.
A privacy law has been passed in California recently which will come into action in the year 2020. Under this law, consumers will be able to sue any company for up to $750 for each violation that took place, even if it is about the data leakage. This law also stated that the state’s attorney can even go after companies for intentional violations or privacy if any.
There was a statement made by a professor who teaches about management information systems at San Diego State University named Steven Andres. He said that there was no necessity for Google to disclose about the security vulnerability. In addition to his statement, he also said that it was agitating but unsurprising to know that the company was discussing how reporting the security vulnerability might look to regulators. There was no law that made compulsion for the companies to disclose security vulnerability.
On Twitter, a computer science professor at Princeton University known by the name Arvind Narayanan made a post saying that it was common for companies to fix a problem before it turned out to be a blunder. “That happens thousands of times every year. Requiring disclosure of all of these would be totally counterproductive,” Mr. Narayanan wrote.
In the last few months, Mr. Pichai had a private meeting with the lawmakers and in that he made a promise to testify all the aspects prior to ending of the year during the time of hearing about whether tech companies are filtering conservative voices in their products. But due to the non-presence of Mr. Pichai at the hearing where top executives from Facebook and Twitter came, the Google was castigated.
Google Plus was introduced in the year 2011 and thought of being a good competitor of Facebook. But things turn fatal for it and it becomes an afterthought by the year 2018.
In comparison to recent reports, Google acclaimed that Google Plus has now a very few users left. It has been reported that 90 percent of users’ sessions stay for less than the time of five seconds. After retrieving the security vulnerability related to Google Plus, the engineers exclaimed that maintenance of Google Plus is not worthy to be done after considering all the aspects of the meager use of the product.
Google had an eased in mind and become free of some pressure on issues encountered by Facebook and Twitter, when the failure of Google Plus took place.