Google+ Shutting Down After Bug Leaks Info of 500k Accounts

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In March 2018, Google became aware of a security breach that had exposed user data since 2015, the Journal reports. Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company, said about 5,00,000 Google+ accounts were potentially affected by a bug that may have exposed their data to external developers.

Launched in 2011 after the fall of Google Buzz (Google's 3rd attempt to create a social network), Google+ was the company's last attempt at competing with Facebook... and obviously, it didn't work.

"Smith said that despite Google's engineering teams putting in a lot of effort, "[Google+] has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps.

The API in question, allowed developers access to the public data of the users who signed up to use the app that used that API.

Google+ will be shut down over a 10-month period, concluding in August 2019, as Google admits that it never gained the traction they had hoped.

"Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we chose to sunset the consumer version of Google+", Google said in the blog announcement.

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Google is now shuttering Google+ as a delayed response. Today, after over 7 years of existence, Google is shutting down Google+ for good-although its low user base surprisingly wasn't the main factor behind this decision.

In a statement to BleepingComputer, a Google Spokesperson said that their Privacy & Data Protection Office felt it was not necessary to disclose as it did not meet the threshold that would warrant it. This happened even when the user data was listed private.

Google is shutting down Google+ for consumers following a security breach.

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.

The bug, discovered in March during an internal company review, could have allowed outside software developers - or people posing as outside developers - to learn the names, email addresses, occupations, genders and ages of Google+ users.

Facebook has been under heavy scrutiny about its privacy policy after a British data mining firm Cambridge Analytica was accused of illegally accessing the data of 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

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