Google Plus social network to shut down after major security lapse

10 October, 2018, 05:45 | Author: Julian Harrison
  • Google shuts down Google+ after a massive data breach which potentially leaked information of over 500,000 users

"Our Privacy & Data Protection Office reviewed this issue, looking at the type of data involved, whether we could accurately identify the users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse, and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response".

People may not know all the gory details, but when they choose to use Facebook, Google+, Twitter, WeChat, iPhones and other technology products or services, they generally understand that the companies might collect dossiers on what they read, who they chat with and where they go.

Google will also "limit the apps that may seek permission to access your consumer Gmail data", while Google Play will limit which apps that can ask for a user's phone (including call logs) and SMS data. This was not a successful venture for Google, and the latest data showed that 90% of sessions on the app were lasting less than five seconds long.

Google has been moving away from Google+ for a while, with the company launching new features for its core search engine where popular individuals, like celebrities, are able to directly post updates within search results.




Google claims there was no evidence of misuse of the data. Those developers were granted access to user data including names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship status. Presumably, they wanted to avoid a PR hit, as that was the same time that Facebook was being slammed in the media for not stopping Cambridge Analytica from stealing data from millions of users.

Google found and patched the hole this March and an engineering team had briefed CEO Sundar Pichai on the issue along with its prposed intention to not disclose the vulnerability for fear of government investigation and loss of public trust. That's when Google finally shut the door on the bug. This year, the SEC fined the company formerly known as Yahoo $35 million for failing to tell investors about a massive cyber-breach for two years - the first time the regulator has punished a company for such conduct.

The tech firm kept quiet for months about a security flaw that gave third-party apps access to private information on the Google+ social network. However, it will remove any posts you've made public or the other posts you've liked.

In the last two months, USA politicians on both sides of the aisle have stepped up their attacks on Google, with Republicans accusing it of harbouring biases against them and Democrats questioning whether the company has gotten too big and powerful. Google further said that the enterprise version of Google+ will continue. Google also said it was unable to determine whose data was exposed.

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