The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Google had opted not to disclose the issue with its Application Program Interfaces (API) partly due to fears of regulatory scrutiny, citing unnamed sources and internal documents.
The information exposed in the Google+ data breach included full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation, and relationship status.
As part of an audit of APIs, Google also discovered that Google+ had also been permitting developers to obtain data from users who never wanted it to be shared publicly - but a bug in the API meant they could collect data even if it was explicitly marked non-public through Google's privacy settings.
The company said that was because it could not accurately identify which users to inform, whether there was any misuse or whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response.
Google also announced that, in addition to shutting down Google+, it's revamping its account permissions to allow users to pick and choose which data they share with third-party apps. Google has since made a decision to shut down the network for consumers.
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A Google Australia spokesperson was unable to say how many local users were affected by the flaw, saying: "Every year, we send millions of notifications to users about privacy and security bugs and issues".
Luckily though, if you want to jump ship before Google formally shuts down the social network, there's an easy way to check if you're signed up - and delete your account.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly knew about the plan to forego notification.
This data privacy glitch is just like Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, except it isn't.
"It's important for consumers to realise that connecting apps in social media platforms only increases the amount of valuable information that could potentially be breached, as well as increased attack vectors that hackers can leverage".
It does not include any other data users may have posted or connected to Google+ or any other service, like Google+ posts, messages, Google account data, phone numbers or G Suite content. We've chose to focus on our enterprise efforts and will be launching new features purpose-built for businesses.
For Gmail apps requesting permission to user data Google will only grant access to apps which 'directly enhancing email functionality-such as email clients, email backup services and productivity services (e.g., CRM and mail merge services)'.