Rhode Island Sues Google Over Google+ Breach

Rhode Island is suing Google over a data breach the state said compromised the information of 52.5 million users.

That is according to the office of Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner—the state's pension fund is invested in Google.

The pension fund filed a motion with the court to head a class action shareholder suit after it was reported that Google execs had not disclosed the breach, which involved the Google+ attempt by the company to capture some of the social media market. The effort failed and Google announced in October it was shuttering the service, a move that came after claims it had hidden security vulnerabilities that led to the breach.

"Google had an obligation to tell its users and investors that private information wasn't being protected," said  Magaziner of the suit. "Instead, Google executives decided to hide the breaches from its users and continued to mislead investors and federal regulators. This is an unconscionable violation of public trust by Google, and we are seeking financial restitution on behalf of the Rhode Island pension fund and other investors."

The state's move came the same day that Google CEO Sundar Pichai was probed on Capitol Hill on issues including breaches and data security.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.