Google is finally shutting down Google+ for good following security breach

Google is finally shutting down Google+ for good following security breach

Google is finally shutting down Google+ for good following security breach

Google said on Monday none of the thresholds it requires to disclose a breach were met after reviewing the type of data involved, whether it could identify the users to inform, establish any evidence of misuse, and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take to protect themselves.

One of Google+'s People APIs allowed 438 external apps to obtain users' names, email addresses, occupations, genders and ages, even for accounts that were made private.

The bug meant that apps also had access to Profile fields that were shared with the user, but not marked as public.

Google plans to shutter the consumer version of Google+, the company has announced in a blog post.

Though it's been up and running for over a half-decade, Google+ never really got the consumer attention Google expected.

According to the WSJ, Google chose not to divulge the data breach because "the incident would likely trigger "immediate regulatory interest" and invite comparisons to Facebook's leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica".

Google is also going to be limiting access to the apps seeking access to your SMS and Gmail data.

Given the potential for abuse, and the fact that nearly no one is using Google+, Alphabet opted to take the path of least resistance and yank the doddering network off life support.

The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers' expectations.

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Google+ has been largely forgotten for a few years now, not just by its users, but also by the team that had been working on the platform.

The issue has been fixed and company found no evidence the information was misused by any developers, he said.

Last month, Google Chief Privacy Officer Keith Enright - alongside representatives from other tech and telecom giants including Apple, Amazon and AT&T - testified before the Senate on privacy practices in Silicon Valley.

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

Google came under criticism for refusing to send a top executive to a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on 5 September about efforts to counteract foreign influence in USA elections and political discourse.

This shut down will come after a 10-month "wind-down" period, which ends next August.

Google's new policy and Gmail API access rules won't safeguard Gmail users from having their inboxes pilfered for data, but it will make it harder for an app to gain access to such data in the first place.

Now, users will be given greater control over what account data they choose to share with each app.

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