Google+ shutting down following security bug

Google's Data Exposure Revelations Highlight The Risk Of Regulation Of Big Tech

Google's Data Exposure Revelations Highlight The Risk Of Regulation Of Big Tech

Google is finally killing its awful social network Google+.

In a blog post, the company admitted Google+ had failed to achieve "broad consumer or developer adoption" since it launched as a would-be Facebook rival in 2011. Google explains Strobe as "a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps' data access". It also found "no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API", and it found "no evidence that any profile data was misused". From that point forward, G+ will continue on as an enterprise product, where many companies seem to use it heavily.

Google+ usage among consumers is so abysmal that it's not worth the headache of revamping its security model.

This data is limited to static, optional Google+ Profile fields including name, email address, occupation, gender and age.

Google chose not to disclose the flaw out of concern it would trigger regulatory backlash, especially in the wake of criticism against Facebook for its privacy failures, according to the Wall Street Journal, which initially reported the news on Monday (Tuesday NZT).

"I think Google does have a public relationship issue and this now makes their lack of openness even worse", Ivan Feinseth, an analyst at Tigress Financial Partners said.

Per WSJ, a "software glitch" allowed user data to be potentially exposed to unwanted eyes from 2015 all the way through March 2018 when Google learned about it. The shut down will take place over a 10 month period, with the social network shutting down in August 2019.

Google is also said to working on improving security elsewhere, including restricting developer access to things such as SMS, call logs, and contact data on Android and add-ons for Gmail.

Google found up to 438 apps that used this API and 496,951 users may have been affected by this bug.

Now, users will be given greater control over what account data they choose to share with each app. This development was informed by the company on Monday, where it also stated that users will no longer be able to access his/her account. "Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data".

Saikali said it was possible that Google could face class action lawsuits over its decision not to disclose the breach.

Apps will be required to inform users what data they will have access to.

What's probably more interesting to most users is that the advertising giant opted to not disclose the issue.

The news adds to Google's woes and further erodes the narrative that Facebook is the worst offender of the major technology companies on data privacy.

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