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Google+ To Shut Down Amid Security Bug

09 October, 2018, 01:31 | Author: Lloyd Doyle
  • Credit MGN

Google launched Google+ in 2011 with an emphasis on privacy, and included fine-grained tools to let users decide what content to share with which of their contacts. Google explains Strobe as "a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps' data access".

In a statement posted to its blog minutes after the report, Google said it plans to shut down Google+ for consumers and introduce new privacy tools restricting how developers can use information on products ranging from email to file storage.

Google said it hasn't yet found any evidence that the data obtained as a result of the bug was misused. Google further said that the enterprise version of Google+ will continue.

Google discovered a problem with the Google+ People API that could allow third-party developers to scrape optional profile information made available to your friends like name, email, occupation, and gender. A bug in their Google+ People APIs, which potentially exposed the data of over 500.000 users and was promptly patched in March 2018.

In any case, the conclusion is the same: Google is shutting down the consumer version of Google+, citing challenges in maintaining the service effectively.

The move came amid news that the firm may have failed to disclose a data-exposing security bug presumed to have reached hundreds of thousands of accounts. Google will also work with developers to give them time to adjust the required permissions for apps and services that will be affected by the changes.

Finally, app access to Call Logs and SMS on Android are going to be limited moving forward.


Apps will be required to inform users what data they will have access to.

In the last two months, United States politicians on both sides of the aisle have stepped up their attacks on Google, with Republicans accusing it of harbouring biases against them and Democrats questioning whether the company has gotten too big and powerful.

Smith defended the decision not to disclose the breach, writing: "Whenever user data may have been affected, we go beyond our legal requirements and apply several criteria focused on our users in determining whether to provide notice".

The company will wind down Google+ over 10 months, targeting an August 2019 shutdown. In a blog post published right after the WSJ's report, Google confirmed that it is shutting down Google+, as well as confirming a number of the details from the WSJ report.

What's probably more interesting to most users is that the advertising giant opted to not disclose the issue.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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