Three US Senators Ask Google Over Delays Of Google+ Vulnerability; FTC Investigation To Follow

Google Plus logo
The Google Plus logo is projected on to the wall during a Google event in San Francisco, California, October 29, 2013
(Photo: EUTERS/Beck Diefenbach/File Photo)

A number of Republican US Senators asked Alphabet Inc.'s Google on Thursday for clarifications on the apparent delays of disclosing vulnerabilities with the company's social media network, Google+.  Meanwhile, other members of the fact-finding committee reportedly had requested intervention from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to conduct an investigation on the said data exposure.

According to Reuters, three Republican senators, John Thune from South Dakota, Roger Wicker from Mississippi, and Jerry Moran of Kansas, issued a joint letter of inquiry asking Google to explain the delay in disclosing the issue.

In a press statement released this week, the Mountain View, California-based tech firm announced that it has moved to shut down the consumer version of Google+. The said site is Google's equivalent to other popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The closure is in line with the company's intention to tighten its data sharing policies after having revealed that more than 500,000 private profile data may have been inadvertently exposed to hundreds of third-party app developers.

The letter from the three senators which was personally addressed to Google's chief executive, Sundar Pichai, demanded that the multi-colored company must be clear to the public and lawmakers of its intention whether it seeks to maintain or regain the trust of its user-base.

The CNBC report further indicated that the Senate has required Google to submit details and documentation with regards to the security bug.

As per the news outlet, Google must be able to provide the answers to its questions as well as accomplish the additional mandate before this month of October would come to an end.

An internal memorandum by Google which was cited over at The Washington Post stated the possibility that the bug could cause immediate regulatory interest. The situation draws similarities to Facebook's Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Google has yet to make a comment on the said Senate probe. Although by paper, Google is not liable to disclose the incident given that this only involved data exposure and not data breach.

Still, the three senators reiterated their concern on the apparent cover-up done by Google which consequently merits intervention by the government in order to ensure the protection of consumer data.

In connection to this, a CNet report added that Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, had also forwarded a letter of recommendation to the FTC on Wednesday, urging the agency to launch an investigation on Google's disclosure quandary.

Other members of the opposing party such as Senators Edward Markey from Massachusetts, and Tom Udall from New Mexico, have also signed the letter.

© 2018 Business Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.