Recent Google Leak Exposes Serious Privacy Breaches

By Lore Apostol / June 4, 2024

Information in an internal database shows that Google collected and stored the personal data of its app and product users over a six-year period between 2013 and 2018, including extremely sensitive user details such as recordings of children's voices, as per a 404 Media report via an anonymous source.

These incidents were reported internally and solved quickly by the company, and some severe vulnerabilities have yet to be resolved, but most were not publicly reported before today. However, as Android Police noted, this leads to skepticism regarding Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc.'s commitment to transparency regarding its data collection protocols and policies.

The reports obtained by 404 are from over six years ago and are examples of these flags—every one was reviewed and resolved at that time. In some cases, these employee flags turned out not to be issues at all or were issues that employees found in third-party services,” said the 404 Media report.

The company’s database included information such as recordings of children’s voices through Gboard's microphone, leaked private YouTube video content from Nintendo that was saved as public, transcribed license plate information through Map’s Street View, and link-shared Docs files made public.

Other examples include addresses and trips taken through Waze via its carpool feature and payment information that the company employees submitted through the travel agency software Sabre.

Some of the leaked Google Search API documents received by SparkToro co-founder Rand Fishkin, which Google did not dispute the legitimacy of, contradict Google’s public declarations about its search operations, suggesting the tech giant has not been entirely transparent.

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