Last Tuesday, the Data Protection Office of Ireland said that it will be seeking answers from Google regarding the data leak from Google+, its failed social media platform. The leak could have potentially exposed the profile information of at least 500,000 users.
On a blog post that was posted last Monday night, Google announced that it was shutting down the Google+ platform for consumers after it was able to discover and patch the bug back last March that revealed the private information of the users to third-party developers.
The tech giant said that none of the data was believed to be misused while the breach was still active. Google had also not considered it to be appropriate to notify any of its users regarding the breach, as none of the thresholds that required such an action were met in this instance.
The watchdog stated: “The Data Protection Commission was not aware of this issue and we now need to better understand the details of the breach, including the nature, impact and risk to individuals and we will be seeking information on these issues from Google.”
It is not yet disclosed whether the Information Commissioner’s Office, its counterpart in the United Kingdom, will be carrying out a similar inquiry.
Google was not immediately available to answer requests for comments regarding the matter.
This is the second enquiry that was carried out into a data breach of a tech giant in recent weeks by the Irish regulator. It comes after it also announced an investigation into the security leak of Facebook last September which affected approximately 90 million users.
Once it is found to be guilty of breaching the legislation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Facebook could be fined with up to four percent of its global annual turnover, or $1.63 billion (£1.25 billion). It is not clear whether Google would face the same fate in this instance, as the breach happened before the May deadline of the GDPR.
The news was disclosed as Google is scheduled to announce a series of new products as part of its Pixel event, including a new Home Hub smart speaker and two new smartphones.