Google+ to be killed after bug exposed up to 500,000 accounts

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Google had opted not to disclose the issue with its Application Program Interfaces (API) partly due to fears of regulatory scrutiny, citing unnamed sources and internal documents.

Specifically, the issue disclosed Monday came through one of the Google+ "People" APIs, a developer tool available to third-party app developers.

Just as the Wall Street Journal was posting an article that dove into the data exposure, Google announced Project Strobe.

In the announcement, Google also announced raft of new security features for Android, Gmail and other Google platforms that it has taken as a result of the bug.

"In the interim, since we can not trust that we know much or even most of what ought to concern the public, the FTC should install public-minded privacy monitors into the firms as an element of accountability". The company did not check up with any of the developers of the aforementioned 438 apps.

Google addressed the breach in its post saying it "discovered and immediately patched" a bug in March 2018. The service, Smith said, failed both in consumer adoption and engagement with apps: "90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds".

If you break down Google's announcement to the core you will realize that Google made a decision to shut down Google Plus because of low user interaction with the service and the prospect of investing lots of resources into the service to make it more attractive to users. Specifically, Google started looking at its API endpoints over concern developers could abuse them.

It plans to shutdown Google+ for consumers over the course of the next 10 months, with the platform officially retiring in August 2019.

"None of these thresholds were met here", they said.

David Carroll is a USA professor who sued Cambridge Analytica earlier this year to find out what data the company had stored about him.

Google said it was unable to confirm which accounts were affected by the bug, but an analysis indicated it could have been as many as 500,000 Google+ accounts.

Google is also limiting apps' ability to gain access to users' call log and SMS data on Android devices.

A spokeswoman for Google said that whenever user data may have been affected it determines whether to tell people based on a number of criteria. Gmail third-party apps that have full access over a Gmail user's data but only require "send capabilities" will need to re-scope their permissions appropriately because they won't be allowed to read users' emails starting next year.

Google shuttered its consumer Google+ site, after the company discovered a software glitch that gave outsiders potential access to private profile data.


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