- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Senate demanded Thursday that Google send written responses to questions regarding the latest security breach by the end of the month.

Google must be more forthcoming with the public and lawmakers if the company is to maintain or regain the trust of the users of its services,” a letter to Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive officer, read.

Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, along with Sen. Roger Wicker, Mississippi Republican, and Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas Republicn, penned the letter. They called the reports of a security breach “troubling,” especially in light of Google’s alleged cover-up.

“We are especially disappointed given that Google’s chief privacy officer before the Senate Commerce Committee on the issue of privacy on September 26, 2018 — just two weeks ago — and did not take the opportunity to provide information regarding this very relevant issue to the Committee,” it read.

On Monday, Google announced that a bug compromised the personal data of potentially 500,000 Google+ accounts. The vulnerability was discovered and address in March, but the company never notified users.

The announcement came the same day the Wall Street Journal reported on the security issue, including details about a memo from the company’s legal team that warned top Google executives that going public could spark talk of regulation. The document related the incident to the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, which occurred just before this was discovered.

The seven questions posed by the Commerce Committee focus on Google’s decision not to come forward about the breach. The committee also requested a copy of the memo cited in the Wall Street Journal.

Google has until October 30 to submit their responses and set up a briefing with the committee.

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