Sci-tech

Google to close Google+ social networking site

Google to close Google+ social networking site”

Google kept quiet for more than six months after its discovery of a bug that put at risk the personal data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users, the company said Monday, a delay that could spark a new round of regulatory scrutiny.

The bug, discovered in March during an internal company review, could have allowed outside software developers - or people posing as outside developers - to learn the names, email addresses, occupations, genders and ages of Google+ users.

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. To make sure something like this Google+ leak doesn't happen again, this new initiative is set out to protect user's privacy and limit the amount of data developers have access to across the web and Android.

Smith said that when users grant permissions to access SMS, Contacts and Phone data to apps, they do so with specific use cases in mind, again indicating that the present policies have given developers overly broad access to people's information.

The incident also marks the beginning of the end for Google+, which the company plans to shut down over the next year. Google executives were concerned about appearances, particularly as Facebook is under fire after an analytics firm allegedly misused the data of tens of millions of users. And last month, Facebook disclosed that attackers exposed information on almost 50 million users.

That may have something to do with Google+'s relative obscurity as an online social destination.

"Had this breach occurred just a few months later, Google could be subject to strict GDPR fines for not keeping user data safe".

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

Google+ API's log data is only for kept two weeks, so it can not confirm which users were impacted by this bug.

Following news of the exposure this week, Google issued a statement claiming they did not notify the public because there was no "evidence of misuse".

In the wake of the report, Google has seemingly decided that the platform's time is up and will be shutting down consumer access to the social network. The bug was reported to have potentially allowed app developers to access profile data from even private accounts.



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