Plug pulled on social network Google

Google to shut down Google+ after users’ data exposed

Google exposed user data, chose not to tell public - WSJ

The leaked memo says that while there is no evidence that outside developers misused any data, there is still no way to know for sure.

According to the WSJ report, Google executive leadership did know about the bug yet chose to not report it immediately due to concerns over regulatory scrutiny.

Up to 500,000 people may have been affected by the flaw, which allowed hundreds of apps to access data including people's jobs, ages and location information.

"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".

Allegations of the improper use of data for 87 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by US President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, has hurt the shares of the world's biggest social network and prompted multiple official investigations in the United States and Europe.

So, quite a few security and privacy changes were announced here. The bug was reported to have potentially allowed app developers to access profile data from even private accounts. The office looks at what data was taken, what affected users need to be informed, if there was any evidence of data abuse, and whether or not users could effectively respond. This should translate to only your default phone and texting apps having access to your call and SMS data.

The firm is also ending access to contact interaction data on Android devices. In July, the company was criticized after reports that employees for a third-party email app could read our emails if we integrated those apps with our Gmail account.

Over the coming months, Google will update users with additional information, including ways to download and migrate data.

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Only email clients, email backup services and productivity services will be able to access this data.

Google+ was Google's last attempt at creating a Facebook competitor that would put Google on equal footing with the social networking giant in regards to user data and number of users.

The Wall Street Journal claimed Google tried to cover the breach, rather than make it public, to avoid "immediate regulatory interest".

Google goes "beyond legal requirements" and applies "several criteria focused on our users" when deciding whether to provide notice, a spokesperson said in a statement.

Writing in a blog post Monday, Google attempted to downplay the incident, saying it hasn't found any signs that the bug was exploited.

It was explained that the consumer version of Google+ has low usage and engagement with 90 per cent of user sessions lasting less than five seconds.

Google will continue to operate Google+ as an enterprise product for companies.

The company will wind down the Google Plus network during a 10-month period expected to be done by the end of next August, Smith wrote in his post.

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