"None of these thresholds were met in this instance".
The Journal also reports that Alphabet chose not to disclose the issue this past spring, when the issue was first discovered, "in part because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage..."
The Wall Street Journal also claimed Google didn't want to "invite comparisons to Facebook's leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica". In addition, Google Account permissions dialog boxes will be split to show each requested permission, one at a time, within its own dialog box. Google says it fixed the issue as soon as it was discovered, but the awful part of this all is that Google opted not to disclose the breach to users, instead sweeping the situation under the rug, hoping nobody would notice.
Security and privacy experts and financial analysts questioned the decision. "Every year, we send millions of notifications to users about privacy and security bugs and issues".
All of this has led Google to finally admit Google+ was a failure, with the company announcing that it will close over the next ten months with a pivot to the enterprise market in the cards.
Because of all of this, Google announced that it would be shutting down Google+ for consumers.
Google is also updating Gmail's User Data Policy for the consumer version to limit access to user data. Most social users are already on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest and would rather not join a single-purpose network that they then have to keep track of, and that doesn't have a mobile app. Users will be able to download and migrate their data.
Google discovered a problem with the Google+ People API that could allow third-party developers to scrape optional profile information made available to your friends like name, email, occupation, and gender.
Smith said that "the Profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ accounts were potentially affected".
Facebook was dealing with the Cambridge Analytica scandal during this time and Google was afraid to be caught in a similar scandal.
Pichai has agreed to testify before Congress in the coming weeks. An empty chair was left for Google after the committee rejected Google's top lawyer as a witness.
"Whenever user data may have been affected, we go beyond our legal requirements and apply several criteria focused on our users in determining whether to provide notice", a Google spokesman said in a statement. "In 2011, you wanted casual, scrappy developers creating apps, and now it is going to require a professional class that is serious".