Google To Shut Down Google+ Following Security Lapse 10/09/2018

Google To Shut Down Google+ Following Security Lapse 10/09/2018

Late Monday, Google shuttered its Google+ social network following the disclosure that personal data for hundreds of thousands of users was potentially exposed because of a bug it kept quiet.

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.

The US internet giant said it will "sunset" the Google+ social network for consumers that failed to gain meaningful traction after being launched in 2011 as a challenge to Facebook. It said it would add "more granular" screens for granting permission to access data, and was adding new limits to the data that third-party apps can use.

"Going forward, consumers will get more fine-grained control over what account data they choose to share with each app", Google said.

Google today also revealed some more steps that it's taking to help protect user data.

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'Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data'.

"The Data Protection Commission was not aware of this issue and we now need to better understand the details of the breach, including the nature, impact and risk to individuals and we will be seeking information on these issues from Google", the regulator said. Well, this is a major security flaw that brought users personal data to risk.

With immediate effect, it will only be possible for apps configured to be the default calling or text app to access phone and SMS data.

On Monday, the company announced that it was shutting down its social network, Google+, which was the source of the flaw.

Google said up to 500,000 users had been affected. In addition, Google Account permissions dialog boxes will be split to show each requested permission, one at a time, within its own dialog box.

Google claims there was no evidence of misuse of the data. "Earlier this year, right at the time they discovered this, the Facebook Cambridge Analytica data breach had just happened, there's a lot of regulator scrutiny of Facebook and tech companies and how they're handling data, and internally, they were anxious about being pulled into this conversation in a bigger way".

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