Google To Shut Down Google+ After Data Breach

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Google To Shut Down Google+ After Data Breach

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Alphabet, the company that owns Google is shutting down its social networking website. Google+ has reportedly exposed user data of 500,000 customers to external developers. This comes after an announcement of a bug breach that was reportedly in their system for more than two years.

This bug could access Profile fields that were shared with the user. This includes Profile fields that are not public.

The data is limited to static, optional Google+ Profile fields including name, email address, occupation, gender and age. It does not include any other data the user may have posted or connected to the website or any other service, like Google+ posts, messages, Google account data, phone numbers or G Suite content.

They reportedly discovered and immediately patched this bug in March 2018. Google also said that they believe it occurred after launch as a result of the API’s interaction with a subsequent Google+ code change. The company also acknowledged in their blog that one of the reasons for shutting down the Google+ is that it “has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption.

To provide for a smooth transition for the existing users, they will wind- down over a 10 month period.

Google will wind- down over

a 10 month period, closing

its curtains in August 2018

This means the Google+ site will close curtains next August. According to Google they have no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug. They have also assured that no one has abused the API. In Google’s finding there is no evidence that any Profile data misuse occurred.

The company has offered reassurance that whenever there is a user data breach, they go beyond their legal requirements and apply several criteria focused on their users in determining whether to provide notice. When it comes to Gmail, they are updating its User Data Policy for the consumer version. This will protect the user by limiting apps from accessing user data.   There has been a lack of interest and the gradual decline of social media overall in the recent times. It is also noteworthy that just 10 days ago, Facebook reported a data breach of 50 Million users.

It seems that this was a good decision on the company’s part. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Souradeep Roy
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