At a congressional privacy hearing this morning, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called for an investigation into the data exposure that resulted in the shutdown of the Google+ social media network. Blumenthal said he plans to send a letter to the Federal Trade Commission later today calling for the agency to take action.
In March of this year, Google discovered a bug in a Google+ API that exposed and had the potential to leak the private information of its users, as reported byThe Wall Street Journal, although the exposure was kept secret for months afterward. After the news of the vulnerability surfaced, Google announced that it would begin shutting down Google+ over the next 10 months.
Google never disclosed this exposure to its users for fear of poor press, a decision that came under fire by senators during today’s hearing. No personal data was leaked as a result of the exposure, so it did not trigger any current breach disclosure laws. However, Google’s attempt to hide the exposure from its users was something that senators were concerned about. “I think this kind of deliberate concealment is absolutely intolerable,” Blumenthal said.