Google to shut down Google Plus after user information exposed

Google to shut down Google+ after users’ data exposed

He also vowed additional security steps would result in the wake of the incident.

After seven highly unsuccessful years, Google+ is effectively dead.

On Monday, the company announced that it was shutting down its social network, Google+, which was the source of the flaw.

Google said that a detailed analysis ran over two weeks prior to patching the bug revealed "the Profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ accounts" may have been potentially affected.

"The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers" expectations, ' Ben Smith, Google's vice president of engineering, wrote in a blog post.

They said the firm would now "sunset" the app, which failed to truly challenge market leader Facebook, citing "very low usage". Shares of Alphabet Inc fell by about 1 percent in response to the story.

This data is limited to static, optional Google+ Profile fields including name, email address, occupation, gender and age.

Google said a glitch in the social site gave outside developers potential access to private Google+ profile data between a major redesign in 2015 and March 2018, when internal investigators discovered and fixed the issue.

As many as 438 outside apps may have connected with the flawed software. However, Google said no other data, including private messages or phone numbers, could have been accessed, and that there's no evidence that developers were actually aware of this bug or that data was misused.

A security lapse of this kind is exactly the kind of news Google didn't need right now, but the fact that leaders decided not to disclose is likely only to exacerbate the situation.

Over the next few months, Google will begin providing more fine-grained control over what account data Google users can choose to share with third-party apps.

Upon discovering the bug, Google patched it, but opted not to disclose it to the public out of fear of regulatory pressure and unfavorable comparisons to Facebook's Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

Action 2: We are launching more granular Google Account permissions that will show in individual dialog boxes.

CBSNews.com sibling website CNET noted on Monday that after Google announced the social network's shutdown, even people who helped launch the product said the time had come to end it. For instance, it is limiting the ability to receive call logs and SMS permissions on Android devices.

Android data access is being restricted to app developers.

Only email clients, email backup services and productivity services will be able to access this data. However, this breach has to be seen in the larger context of what's going on more generally with data privacy and security.

A spokeswoman for Google said that whenever user data may have been affected it determines whether to tell people based on a number of criteria.

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