Google says social network bug exposed private data

Google to shut down Google+ after users’ data exposed

Google plans to announce a new set of data privacy measures that include permanently shutting down all consumer functionality of Google+, effectively ending the product launched in 2011 to challenge Facebook's social media empire the Wall Street Journal reports.

In a blog, the company said it had discovered and patched the leak in March and had no evidence that data has been misused or anyone had exploited it.

The information exposed in the Google+ data breach included full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation, and relationship status.

The bug meant that apps also had access to Profile fields that were shared with the user, but not marked as public.

Google is at the centre of controversy this morning over a report of a massive user data breach that occurred previous year, with the result that they will be introducing finer grain controls to limit access to user data on the web and Android - and also shutdown Google+ for consumers. There were no phone numbers, email messages, timeline posts, direct messages or any other type of communication data.

In response to this, Google+ will be shutting down for regular users.

Earlier this year, Facebook acknowledged that tens of millions of users had personal data hijacked by Cambridge Analytica, a political firm working for Donald Trump in 2016.

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One of the changes that Google is making to help give users even more control over their data is more in-depth permission dialog boxes. The disclosure would also invite "immediate regulatory interest", the memo said.

The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers' expectations. Today, after over 7 years of existence, Google is shutting down Google+ for good-although its low user base surprisingly wasn't the main factor behind this decision. Google and Apple are both now giving users more control over their data and the ability to limit what third parties can access.

Monday in its blog post justifying the decision to close the consumer version of Google+, the company said, "The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds".

Action 2: We are launching more granular Google Account permissions that will show in individual dialog boxes.

Users can grant access to their Profile data, and the public Profile information of their friends, to Google+ apps, via the API. There will be a 10-month transition and final closure will happen in August 2019.

Google's post said the API failures came to light through a review dubbed Project Strobe.

Android data access is being restricted to app developers.

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