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Google Stocks Plummet After Report Company Failed to Notify Users About Security Flaw in Google+

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(Bloomberg) — Alphabet Inc. fell to its lowest since July after the Wall Street Journal reported the internet giant decided not to disclose a “software glitch” at its Google+ social network that could have exposed the personal data of “hundreds of thousands” of users.

Google chose not to disclose the flaw this past spring out of concern it would trigger regulatory backlash, especially in the wake of criticism against Facebook Inc. for its privacy issues, the newspaper reported. Google plans to shut down its social network and announce new privacy measures in response to the incident, the paper said. The flaw exposed user data from 2015 until this past March, according to the report.

In a blog post, Google vice president of engineering Ben Smith confirmed the company had found a “bug” that affected as many as 500,000 users. The company found no evidence the information was misused by any developers, Smith said. A spokeswoman for Google didn’t immediately return a request for further comment.

Alphabet shares fell 2.3 percent to $1,140 at 1:14 p.m. in New York, after earlier dropping to $1,136.50, the lowest intraday price since July 5.

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