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Google+ Shutting Down After Bug Leaks Info of 500k Accounts

09 October, 2018, 01:29 | Author: Tara Roberts
  • A bug in Google+ exposed the data of hundreds of thousands. Google covered it

Google chose not to disclose the flaw out of concern it would trigger regulatory backlash, especially in the wake of criticism against Facebook for its privacy failures, according to the Wall Street Journal, which initially reported the news on Monday (Tuesday NZT). However, Google said no other data, including private messages or phone numbers, could have been accessed, and that there's no evidence that developers were actually aware of this bug or that data was misused.

As for what info was exposed, it's reported that "full names, email address, birth dates, gender, profile photos, placed lived, occupation, and relationship status" were all up for grabs.

This tech giant has now come up with a number of plans as data privacy measures. A bug was found in addition to that all that allowed access to profile files that Google+ users shared with contacts that were not public. The lawsuit was blocked in the High Court on Monday. And in a dramatic move, the company has announced that it is shutting down Google+ for consumers.

This comes from the Wall Street Journal who cited unnamed sources and internal documents. The bug allowed for developers that had access to Google+'s API to access information of users that gave permission to the program.

After seven highly unsuccessful years, Google+ is effectively dead.

The company said it determined its course of action based on the data involved in the breach, lack of evidence of misuse and challenges in accurately determining which users to inform. The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.

Because of all of this, Google announced that it would be shutting down Google+ for consumers.

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"Going forward, consumers will get more fine-grained control over what account data they choose to share with each app", Google said.

Google hasn't really done anything with Google+ in years, and so it's not surprising to learn Google is finally killing the social network. Google found that no one was using it, saying that "Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds".

Google will take the next 10 months to kill off G+ for consumers, finishing it off by August of 2019.

So, for example, if you're using your Google account to sing into a new service and it requests access to your Calendar and Drive, you'll be able to grant or deny that permission on a per-service basis.

Google has already recently drawn controversy over its data collection practices.

"Over the years we've received feedback that people want to better understand how to control the data they choose to share with apps on Google+".

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