Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Google Shutters Google+ Following Privacy Vulnerability

Google Shutters Google+ Following Privacy Vulnerability

According to a report published Monday by The Wall Street Journal, the vulnerability wasn't disclosed because Google didn't want to be subjected to regulatory scrutiny from lawmakers.

In a blog post, Google said the information that was exposed includes full names, email addresses, occupation, gender and age. The bug is said to have affected as many as 500,000 accounts, though the company says it found "no evidence" that any data was actually misused.

Social media network Google+ will be shut down following yet another security breach after no less than its parent company revealed that at least half a million accounts appear to have been compromised.

Google said the flaw was patched immediately and that there was no evidence that the leaked information was used by any third-party developers. So a group of the company's executives ruled that the firm should stay quiet about the flaw, and reportedly informed Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, of their decision.

"Our review showed that our Google+ APIs, and the associated controls for consumers, are challenging to develop and maintain". There are additional privacy moves in motion here, too, with Google's Project Strobe security audit also meaning most third-party developers will no longer be able to access Android SMS data, call logs, and (some) contact information.

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A Gaelic Blessing will be sung by the choir, and Italian singer-songwriter Andrea Bocelli will perform Bach's Ave Maria. Charity guests and 1,200 members of the public have been invited into the grounds for the occasion.

Silhouettes of laptop and mobile device users are seen next to a screen projection of Google logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018.

Google said: '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'.

In response to the breach, Google is shutting down all consumer functionality of Google+. "Whenever user data may have been affected, we go beyond our legal requirements and apply several criteria focused on our users in determining whether to provide notice". This, combined with the community's extremely low user base-90% of Google+ sessions are under 5 seconds-were enough for Google to be done with it for good.

Google launched the service in 2011 as a challenge to Facebook but noted in its blog post on Monday that Google "has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption".

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