Lawmakers Call for Investigation Into Google+ Data Exposure

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Google's decision not to immediately disclose the breach has ruffled some feathers.

One lawmaker is fired up over one of Google’s recent transgressions.

Earlier this week, news broke that the social network Google+ experienced a large data exposure, which left the private profile information of half a million users open to outside developers.

Google neglected to reveal this information after it discovered the problem in March. The company said it did not want to invite government scrutiny.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Tom Udall, D-N.M. and Edward Markey, D-Mass, however, in a letter officially called for just such scrutiny in the form of a Federal Trade Commission investigation. 

“I think this kind of deliberate concealment is absolutely intolerable,” said Blumenthal during a Wednesday hearing on consumer data privacy. "We can no longer rely on notice and choice, on voluntary standards, on transparency and consent.”

The hearing featured Andrea Jelinek, chair of the European Data Protection Board, who noted that both Germany and Ireland were both planning to investigate the incident. The hearing did not feature representatives from Google.

“Most consumers do not understand the level, granularity and the reach of Google’s data collection, a fact exacerbated by any possible breaches of trust,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter also points out that the FTC has twice previously investigated Google.