Google to shut down Google

Google to shut down Google+ after users’ data exposed

Google exposed user data, chose not to tell public - WSJ

A vulnerability in the Google+ social network exposed the personal data of up to 500,000 people using the site between 2015 and March 2018, the search giant said Monday. Exposed data included names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship status.

The company says this is because it simply didn't meet the necessary thresholds for reporting, but the Wall Street Journal reports it was because the company feared regulation.

Google plans to shutter the consumer version of Google+, the company has announced in a blog post.

So, instead of sticking with the product, Google made a decision to shut it down for consumers and turn it into an Enterprise-exclusive product instead.

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Google says that going forward, rather than bundling permissions together for a single approval, each and every permission requested by an app will be shown one at a time, within its own dialog box. It's also limiting said apps' ability to access private data outside of specific use cases.

For Google, a data privacy reckoning may finally come as a result of a service that it admits nearly no one uses much anymore. The disclosure would also invite "immediate regulatory interest", the memo said.

Shortly after the report was published, Google announced that it would be shutting down Google+ for consumers, seven years after it was launched, citing the incident as part of the cause. Specifically, Google started looking at its API endpoints over concern developers could abuse them.

It was explained that the consumer version of Google+ has low usage and engagement with 90 per cent of user sessions lasting less than five seconds.

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Google is closing the Google+ social network after an error exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users last spring, in an incident which the company never disclosed to those affected. It analyzed third-party developers' access to Google account and Android device data to measure whether permissions were overly broad.

It said, "To give people a full opportunity to transition, we will implement this wind-down over a 10-month period, slated for completion by the end of next August". This should translate to only your default phone and texting apps having access to your call and SMS data.

Google came under criticism for refusing to send a top executive to a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on 5 September about efforts to counteract foreign influence in U.S. elections and political discourse. To make sure something like this Google+ leak doesn't happen again, this new initiative is set out to protect user's privacy and limit the amount of data developers have access to across the web and Android.

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