Google Plus shutting down as social network bug exposes private data

Google exposed personal data of almost 500,000 and didn't disclose it

Google Shutters Google+ Following Privacy Vulnerability

Google has said up to 500,000 Google+ user accounts were potentially affected by a bug that may have exposed their data to external developers, and the company is shutting down the social network for consumers.

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.

Up to 438 apps used the application programming interface (API) that gave access to Profile data such as users' name, email address, occupation, gender and age.

Google reports that it found no evidence that any developer was aware of the bug, or that any abuse occurred.

The company says it didn't find any evidence that any of the affected personal information was misused.

In light of the data breach, Google said consumers will "get more fine-grained control" over what data they choose to share, and that they will limit the number of apps that can gain access to consumers' Gmail data.

The revelation is what appears to be a series of security breaches among social media networking sites, following the infamous incidents involving Facebook and Twitter.

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The WSJ reported that the exposure dates back to 2015, although the company didn't comment on how long information was exposed.

The company cited the reason of the closure as the fact that Google+ had failed to achieve "broad consumer or developer adoption".

Google on Monday said it has chose to shut down its social media network, Google+. As a result all European Union data protection authorities have jurisdiction to engage with Google on the breach. But those apps look downright buoyant compared with Google's own confessed numbers for Google+. Third-party SMS apps will still be allowed, but they can only access this data if the user sets the app as their default for text messaging.

"The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than 5 seconds".

Unfortunately, whether you've forgotten about it or not, if you have a Google+ account, your data may have been put at risk.

Google also announced launch of more granular Google account permissions that will show in individual dialog boxes.

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