Google Plus to close after data exposed

10 October, 2018, 05:43 | Author: Elena Summers
  • Google exposed personal data of almost 500,000 and didn't disclose it

Internet giant Google has said it is shutting down the consumer version of its own social networking site Google+ due to low usage and a bug discovered in March past year that could leak the data of about half a million of its users.

According to Smith, as many as 500,000 accounts could have been affected, and the data exposed could potentially include things such as name, occupation, or age - but not phone numbers or any other information stored on your Google account.

In the blog post, Google said it did not immediately announce the problems with Google+ because it was not sure which users were affected, whether the data had been misused and what affected users could do to protect themselves.

Google plans to shutter its Google+ social network for consumers, citing its limited adoption with users.

In addition to "sunsetting consumer Google+", the company is making changes to APIs on its other services, which will limit the amount of access developers get to data on Android and Gmail.

Project Strobe will also lead to Google account holders getting more fine-grained controls over the data they share with apps, which now have overly broad access to user information, Google said.

But it's not doing so exclusively out of concern for users' privacy: Smith admitted the network is not a success, saying "The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds". Google executives were concerned about appearances, particularly as Facebook is under fire after an analytics firm allegedly misused the data of tens of millions of users.

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Yet, Ben Smith, a Google Fellow and its Vice President of Engineering, says shuttering Google+ has more to do with its low popularity.

Facebook's chief operating officer and Twitter's chief executive testified at the hearing, where an empty chair was pointedly left for Google after the committee rejected Google's top lawyer as a witness.

If you go to your Gmail inbox and click your profile picture in the upper right-hand corner, you'll see if it says 'Google+ Profile, ' underneath your picture.

Nevertheless, as a result of the security audit, the search giant has vowed to allow users to tightly control what data is made available to third-party applications that sync with Google accounts.

Google does not yet have a lead EU Supervisory authority, as the breach apparently happened before the EU's new privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation, was implemented.

Google signed a consent decree with the FTC in 2011 to settle allegations that an earlier social media platform, Google Buzz, mishandled user data.

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