Senators Demand Memo Behind Google+ Privacy Debacle Cover-Up
In short: Three top Republican legislators wrote to Google on Thursday, demanding the company explains its decision to cover up a major blunder that exposed data of up to 500,000 Google+ users. Republican Senators Roger Wicker (MS), John Thune (SD), and Jerry Moran (KS) asked for detailed documentation that let to the cover-up after the vulnerability was discovered in March, including a memo recommending non-disclosure which was cited by the original report of the ordeal published by the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.
In a letter addressing Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai, the Senators expressed a “great concern” for the matter at hand, inquiring why the firm only admitted to the blunder after the incident was discovered by the media. The legislators also suggested the incident violated the firm’s 2011 Proposed Consent Agreement with the Federal Trade Commission which required it to disclose the Google+ vulnerability to an independent assessor examining its privacy program as part of that deal. Questions were also raised about whether Google covered up other vulnerabilities in the past and is possibly still doing so.
Finally, the Republican Senators took aim at Google’s business model in their Thursday letter, asking whether the firm believes users of its free services should be given the same level of protection and risk notification as those who pay for its solutions as part of G Suite packages designed for enterprises. The lawmakers want to hear the tech giant’s response no later than 5 PM EST on October 30.
This is a developing story.