Credit card information of 19,000 British Web surfers was exposed on Google search before being removed, according to a report this weekend.
It is unclear exactly when and for how long the information was available to Google searchers, although most of the cards had been canceled, The Telegraph reported the UK payments association APACS as saying. Visible were names, addresses, and credit card data for thousands of people.
Originally, the data was posted on an unsecured server in Vietnam used by criminal gangs that was closed in February, the newspaper said. However, the "cached" version of it on Google remained.
Google offers tools that allow webmasters to make sure content is not cached or is removed. Apparently, whoever leaked the data didn't use those tools.
"Please keep in mind that search engines are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the Internet. Search engines such as Google do not own this content, and do not have the ability to remove content directly from the Internet," a Google spokesman said in a statement.