Google+ Is Shutting Down Following Security Breach

Google+ Is Shutting Down Following Security Breach

Google+ Is Shutting Down Following Security Breach

The company is also stressing its commitment to security - now offering "more fine-grained control" of what account data Google users share with third-party apps.

The discovery of the bug occurred round about the same time the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook surfaced. In a blog post, Google stated that they "cannot confirm which users were impacted by this bug" but "up to 500,000 Google+ accounts were potentially affected".

Smith said Google+ would wind down over the next ten months, during which time users will be able to download or migrate their data, and the site would be permanently retired in August 2019. As you can see from the above screenshots, instead of just offering a master "Allow" button that gives the third-party access to various items, the new permission box will be more granular, details each data type at length, and provide users with the ability to allow or deny each thing.

"We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any Profile data was misused", Smith said.

The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers' expectations. It's also limiting said apps' ability to access private data outside of specific use cases.

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As part of its response to the incident, the Alphabet Inc. unit plans to announce a sweeping set of data privacy measures that include permanently shutting down all consumer functionality of Google+, the people said. The undertaking is called Project Strobe, which looks "at the operation of our privacy controls, platforms where users were not engaging with our APIs because of concerns around data privacy, areas where developers may have been granted overly broad access, and other areas in which our policies should be tightened".

Google+ may not be the biggest social network - far from it, according to Google - but there are some folks out there that use it, so the news of its shutdown is a bit disappointing for them.

As a part of the announcement of the breach, Google has chose to implement more fine-grained permissions for accessing user data from apps. Google says it fixed the issue as soon as it was discovered, but the awful part of this all is that Google opted not to disclose the breach to users, instead sweeping the situation under the rug, hoping nobody would notice. When a user granted a developer permission to their profile, any of the data related to that profile could be collected by the developer.

Although Google discovered and patched the potential data leak in March 2018, the company initially opted not to publicize it.

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