Google Decides to Shut Down Google Plus Following Data Exposure

Google Decides to Shut Down Google Plus Following Data Exposure

A software glitch in the social site gave outside developers potential access to private Google+ profile data between 2015 and March 2018, when internal investigators discovered and fixed the issue, according to the documents and people briefed on the incident. The glitch meant developers could access private details about people's friends too, including things like their email addresses, birthdays, profile photos, occupations, and relationship statuses. The bug is said to have affected as many as 500,000 accounts, though the company says it found "no evidence" that any data was actually misused.

Google, for its part, said in a report that they have found no evidence that "the data had been improperly accessed or misused". It did not include phone numbers, the content of emails or messages, or other kinds of communication data.

Google did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

Google today revealed it'd be shutting down the consumer version of Google+ in response to a previously undisclosed security flaw - and also because no one's really using it. "So can Google keep the trust of its users going forward?"

The announcement came in a blog post, which was also Google's first public description of the privacy bug. "Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we made a decision to sunset the consumer version of Google+". According to Google, 90% of Google+ user sessions were less than 5 seconds, which is strikingly low compared to other social networks. In addition, Google is limiting the ability of Android apps to obtain Call Log and SMS permissions on Android devices, and is no longer allowing access to contact interaction data through the Android Contacts API.

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"None of these thresholds were met here.", she said.

Google+ will be shut down over a 10-month period, concluding in August 2019, as Google admits that it never gained the traction they had hoped. Our analysis showed that up to 438 applications may have used this API.

Google said it would continue to offer private Google+-powered networks for businesses now using the software.

Users who connect third-party apps with Google will get more granular control over what data gets shared.

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