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Google+ Bug Exposed Data of 500,000 Users

12 October, 2018, 11:43 | Author: Tara Roberts
  • Google says it discovered and patched the problem with its Google+ social network in March yet decided not to disclose it immediately

The problem is that Google made a decision to keep the security incident a secret, amid fears that it will lead to "immediate regulatory interest" and draw comparisons to Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal. But a two-week-long review of Google+ found that up to 500,000 users may have had their data exposed to developers of 438 applications.

The Wall Street Journal obtained internal memos showing that Google's management was aware of the bug, but chose not to share it with the public to avoid scrutiny by regulators.

Google+ was heavily promoted after its 2011 launch, in the hope of overtaking Facebook in the early days of social media.

Smith says in the post that Google+ "has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps". It said it would add "more granular" screens for granting permission to access data, and was adding new limits to the data that third-party apps can use. The bug has reportedly existed since 2015, and Google does not know if the information has been used.

Huawei to sell servers with own chips in cloud computing push
Huawei had unveiled its Kirin 970 chipset with built-in AI in September 2017, at the time calling it the "future of smartphones ". In the consumer market, HiAI will bring true intelligence to our consumer devices, making them smarter than ever.

"Our review showed that our Google+ APIs, and the associated controls for consumers, are challenging to develop and maintain". "Our goal is to support a wide range of useful apps, while ensuring that everyone is confident that their data is secure". The bug was reported to have potentially allowed app developers to access profile data from even private accounts. Google says it fixed the issue as soon as it was discovered, but the awful part of this all is that Google opted not to disclose the breach to users, instead sweeping the situation under the rug, hoping nobody would notice.

In response to the breach, Google is shutting down all consumer functionality of Google+.

Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, accessed information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge. According to Google, 90% of Google+ user sessions were less than 5 seconds, which is strikingly low compared to other social networks. The company plans to keep Google+ up and running as an enterprise communications tool.

Google+ minus people: In a blog post published after the article ran, Google said it had found no evidence data had been abused, and that it would shut off consumer access to Google+ (a corporate version will presumably continue to run).

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