Google+ To Shut Down After Privacy Bug

Google to shut down Google+ after users’ data exposed

Under the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), if personal data is breached, a company needs to inform a supervisory authority within 72 hours, unless the breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedom of users. Google was afraid it, too, would become the center of attention following Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, and as such chose not to disclose the information to its users.

Apparently trying to play down the significance of the matter, Google says that Google+ has not proved particularly popular or successful: "it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps". The lawsuit was blocked in the High Court on Monday. Google has also revealed details of Project Strobe, an audit program through which it discovered the problem.

The issue was discovered and patched in March as part of a review of how Google shares data with other applications, Google said in a blog post.

Google is expected to announce the breach on Monday, as well as its plans shut down Google+, according to the Wall Street Journal. Google further said that the enterprise version of Google+ will continue.

Google says that 90 per cent of Google+ user sessions lasted for less than five seconds.

Google has even admitted that no one actually uses Google+.

As a part of the announcement of the breach, Google has made a decision to implement more fine-grained permissions for accessing user data from apps. However, the firm "found no evidence that any Profile data was misused".

Smith also went on to confirm that the company had found a "bug", affecting as many as 500,000 users, that exposed users' private data to third-party apps between 2015 until this March 2018. Google already had millions (if not billions) of accounts using its services, so turning it into a social media service should have been pretty easy.

These actions are only the beginning, with Google advising they will roll out additional controls and update their policies across more APIs in the coming months. If an app wants access to a Calendar and Drive documents, for example, you can opt to share one but not the other.

Android data access is being restricted to app developers.

Google did not specify how long the software flaw existed, or why it waited to disclose it. There is also no evidence that any data has been misused. This should translate to only your default phone and texting apps having access to your call and SMS data. The change makes it so users must individually grant or deny each permission to access data in their consumer Google account, rather than accept or deny permissions all at the same time.

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