Google+ axed after huge privacy bug spotted but kept secret

Google to shut down Google+ after users’ data exposed

Google to shut down Google+ after users’ data exposed

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal published Monday lunchtime, a software glitch within Google+ exposed the private profile data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users to outside developers. The company said it 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".

"However, we ran a detailed analysis over the two weeks prior to patching the bug, and from that analysis, the Profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ accounts were potentially affected", Smith said. The company noted that information like Google+ posts, messages and G Suite content weren't included in the exposure.

Now, the consumer version of Google+ is going away.

Google is also making some changes to its Gmail API and is limiting Android apps that request to receive Call Log and SMS permissions.

The Wall Street Journal, reported that they have reviewed a memo prepared by Google's legal and policy staff, which indicated that disclosing the data breach could lead to scrutiny by government regulatory agencies.

Under the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), if personal data is breached, a company needs to inform a supervisory authority within 72 hours, unless the breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedom of users. Google+ users could even allow a third-party app to access the public information of friends. The non-public information that was accessible includes an account holder's name, email address, occupation, gender and age. Still, outside app makers were not supposed to have access to private profile information.

Finally, there'll be new Google Account permissions dialog boxes, which will split different access permissions for third-party apps and services into individual screens.

Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai was briefed on the plan not to notify users after an internal committee had reached that decision, according to the WSJ.

Google's project team analyzed the available APIs provided to developers and found out that these were "challenging to develop and maintain".

The company responded in its blog post Monday by arguing that it had no evidence that anyone actually exploited the bug. Currently, Google+ has "low usage and engagement", according to Google, and 90 percent of user sessions last less than five seconds.

To make the closure of the service as seamless as possible, Google says it'll implement a "wind-down" period over the next 10 months with the goal to have everyone off Google+ and officially pull the plug by the end of August 2019.

The news comes as Silicon Valley companies have been increasingly scrutinized for their data collection practices.

Recommended News

  • Palestinian kills 2 Israelis in West Bank industrial zone

    Palestinian kills 2 Israelis in West Bank industrial zone

    Israeli media reported that those killed were found shot to death on their office floor with their hands bound. Meanwhile, Palestinian group Fatah said Israel's denial of Palestinian rights was the cause of such attacks.
    Barbara Bush marries Craig Louis Coyne in private ceremony

    Barbara Bush marries Craig Louis Coyne in private ceremony

    Former first daughter Barbara Bush married Craig Louis Coyne in a private ceremony in ME on Sunday. Jenna told her " Today " co-hosts that she's still emotional following the special family weekend.
    What Jamie Carragher spotted during Liverpool vs. Man City is brilliant

    What Jamie Carragher spotted during Liverpool vs. Man City is brilliant

    Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez insists he will not let his shocking penalty miss against Liverpool affect his confidence. As for what it means for the standings, there is now a three-way tie for first with teams having records of 6-2-0.
  • First lady visits Egypt on last stop in visit to Africa

    First lady visits Egypt on last stop in visit to Africa

    The US first lady tour to Africa has been part of her BE BEST initiative which focuses on improving the lives of children. Trump wore slacks and a tie as she stepped off the plane in Cairo, where she proceeded to the presidential palace.
    McConnell: Kavanaugh fight will help Republicans in November

    McConnell: Kavanaugh fight will help Republicans in November

    The final vote was interrupted several times by protesters as senators sat silent at their desks for the formal roll call vote. McConnell also said Saturday's confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is his proudest moment as a senator.
    China slams Pence's charge of meddling in USA  internal affairs

    China slams Pence's charge of meddling in USA internal affairs

    He said China is unlikely to stop such activities or those that help shape the American public's views of China. Security Council last month that China was meddling in USA elections to help Democrats.
  • Ross Barkley stars as Chelsea beat Southampton in the Premier League

    Ross Barkley stars as Chelsea beat Southampton in the Premier League

    But despite Sarri's caution, England global Barkley is confident Chelsea can rival Manchester City and Liverpool this term. Fabregas, who played in Thursday's 1-0 Europa League win over Hungarian champions Vidi, said: "Everything goes through me".
    Eakinomics: September Jobs Report Prediction

    Eakinomics: September Jobs Report Prediction

    Within healthcare, hospitals showed the most employment growth last month, adding 3,800 more jobs than the 8,200 added in August . The combination of gains in employment and moderate increases in wages is lifting disposable incomes.
    Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to United States  supreme court

    Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to United States supreme court

    But Mr Thompson scoffed at the idea that Mr Kavanaugh's nomination will help Democrats in next month's mid-term elections. While many senators say they were satisfied with the FBI probe, her lawyers say the investigation was insufficient.
  • Google Pixel Slate with Chrome OS, detachable keyboard leaked

    Google Pixel Slate with Chrome OS, detachable keyboard leaked

    Also, don't forget to check in with us about the event because we will be covering the whole event and will update our readers. The older Pixel 2 and 2XL are both excellent devices and feature one of the purest Android experiences on the market.
    Juncker signals optimism for agreement on Brexit deal

    Juncker signals optimism for agreement on Brexit deal

    While Varadkar has not ruled that out point-blank, he told a Brussels news conference: "There would be constraints". A seamless border is part of the settlement which largely ended decades of violence in the province.
    Klopp slams 'senseless' Nations League after City draw

    Klopp slams 'senseless' Nations League after City draw

    Remember, there are a few young players in Steven Gerrard's team, and they will still be finding their feet at such a high level. Where can you follow the Liverpool vs Manchester City Premier League match online? "There's a chance but we don't know".

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.