Google Plus social network to shut down after major security lapse

You get extra points if you remembered that Google+ was still a thing

The Wall Street Journal reported that a software glitch caused Google to expose personal-profile data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users, and managers at the search-giant chose to keep the info under wraps.

The data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users were exposed from 2015 through March 2018, when Google discovered and fixed the problem. A report in the Wall Street Journal says Google did not disclose this information sooner because it feared regulatory scrutiny.

According to the blog post, the Google Plus data that was potentially exposed included names, email addresses, occupations, date of birth, profile photos and genders.

Users can grant access to their Profile data, and the public Profile information of their friends, to Google+ apps, via the API. Still, as part of the response to the incident, Google plans to shut down the social network permanently.

In addition to the sunsetting of Google+, Project Strobe brings in new, more granular controls over the data Android and Gmail users share with apps.

Google said the flaw was patched immediately and that there was no evidence that the leaked information was used by any third-party developers.

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In any case, the conclusion is the same: Google is shutting down the consumer version of Google+, citing challenges in maintaining the service effectively.

Further speaking on the issue, Google has said that they have no evidence that any outside developer has misused users private data.

Google+ is soon to be gone, but will you miss it?

Following news of the exposure this week, Google issued a statement claiming they did not notify the public because there was no "evidence of misuse". "Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we made a decision to sunset the consumer version of Google+". In addition, Google Account permissions dialog boxes will be split to show each requested permission, one at a time, within its own dialog box.

On Android, Google will limit apps ability to receive users call logs and short messaging service (SMS) data. If you're given the option to upgrade instead of downgrade, you do not have a Google+ page associated with the account you're signed in under.

Smith said Google+ would wind down over the next ten months, during which time users will be able to download or migrate their data, and the site would be permanently retired in August 2019.

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