Google is shutting down Google+ for consumers following security breach

Google exposed personal data of almost 500,000 and didn't disclose it

Google exposed personal data of almost 500,000 and didn't disclose it

A Google+ security breach gave outside developers access to the private data of hundreds of thousands of the social network's users between 2015 and March 2018, according to a Wall Street Journal report. However, many were quick to point out the announcement came after The Wall Street Journal reported the bug and said Google opted not to disclose it to avoid regulatory scrutiny and reputational damages.

The data involved was limited to optional profile fields, including name, age, gender, occupation and email addresses, and posts, messages or telephone numbers could not be accessed, a spokesperson said. 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.

The company says it didn't find any evidence that any of the affected personal information was misused.

Google+ was launched in 2011, quickly becoming a failed attempt to compete with Facebook. When those friends signed into apps using Google+, app developers ask for permission to get profile information and are granted.

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

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.

Google is shutting down its much-maligned social network, Google+, after user data was exposed.

The only way to fully delete your Google+ account at this time is to completely delete your Google Account, which you can do here. "When an app prompts you for access to your Google account data, we always require that you see what data it has asked for, and you must grant it explicit permission", he said.

CEO Sundar Pichai was reportedly informed of the decision to not tell users after it had already been made by an internal committee.

In the past, the company had been reluctant to share data on how often Google+ was used, but now, facing the fall out of exposed data, the firm appears keen to play down its importance.

These latest changes are also being implemented as part of a larger crackdown, in which the search giant is seeking to review and curb "third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps' data access".

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