Big Tech isn’t afraid of the law, but it is afraid of bad press that could affect its stock price. The Murdoch Press has, refreshingly, stayed on Google’s case, revealing that there had been another exposure of user data, allowing developers access to private information between 2015 and March 2018.
The company sent a memo warning executives not to disclose this, fearing ‘regulatory interest’.
The access was available via Google Plus, which the company says it will permanently close.
In 2011 I predicted Plus would be a flop, while tech journalists salivated at the prospect, calling it, among other things, a Facebook killer. A few years later, you couldn’t find much support among the tech press, but no one admitting they were wrong.
I had warned regularly on this blog of privacy holes that I had found on Google, with inexplicable mystery parties among my Circles or on Google Buzz, as well as strange entries in my Google account. I’ve talked often about what I discovered with Google’s ad preferences (something it got away with for up to two years), but I’ve also found YouTube and search history settings turned on without my consent. Murdochs had revealed Google hacked Iphones, which led to a lawsuit. To learn that Google has had a privacy problem, one that it let slip for three years, does not surprise me one bit.
4 thoughts on “Google exposed private user data between 2015 and 2018”
I’m not sure that Google shuttering its consumer apps is a great thing for consumers. It just leaves us nothing at all but Facebook and Twitter, along with probably less functionality on Android. If the issue’s existed since 2015, I’d rather they came clean, admitted it, and FIXED it. But of course it’s cheaper just to shut it down.
None of them are without fault or flaws, even Apple.
And re: your other post this morning – I’m sorry I can’t come visit you. I’d probably throw my phone at someone and be arrested. Because although I have nothing at all to hide, I do try to protect confidentiality when it comes to work and friends. @#$% this “hand over your password” noise.
IMO it’s more reason to head over to Mastodon or some other service (including Amino!). My feeling is traditional social is dead.
The new law is appalling. I’m surprised it hasn’t merited much of a mention in our media. I’ve heard of something like that in the US but there’s no fine involved. We’re stupid enough to enshrine it into law and attempt to impose a fine which could well be subject to a challenge on international legal grounds (e.g. how far can the laws of this land compel a national of another to do something that offends the standards of that other country?). I wonder what impact this will have on our tourism.