Google+ gets the axe after exposing users’ private info

Google+ Shutting Down After Bug Leaks Info of 500k Accounts

Google shuts down Google+ following massive security flaw - GSMArena.com news

However, a report by The Wall Street Journal newspaper suggested that the Mountain View, California, company wanted to avoid drawing regulatory scrutiny.

The data exposed included full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile pictures, places lived, occupations and relationship status.

The company said that was because it could not accurately identify which users to inform, whether there was any misuse or whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response.

Smith says in the post that Google+ "has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps". Google said up to 438 external applications, such as online games or quizzes, could have exploited the flaw.

As a part of the announcement of the breach, Google has made a decision to implement more fine-grained permissions for accessing user data from apps. In the meantime, Google says users should stay tuned for more information on how to download their data from the site, should they so desire.

"Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we chose to sunset the consumer version of Google+", the company said in a statement. It's also limiting said apps' ability to access private data outside of specific use cases.

A bug in Google+ exposed the personal data of almost 500,000 people and Google chose not to disclose it out of fears of regulatory pressure.

That may have something to do with Google+'s relative obscurity as an online social destination.

David Carroll, a USA professor who sued Cambridge Analytica in the United Kingdom courts to reclaim his data, told The Guardian: "Google is right to be concerned and the shutdown of Google+ shows how disposable things really are in the face of accountability". The bug allowed for developers that had access to Google+'s API to access information of users that gave permission to the program.

Google announced Monday it is shutting down the consumer version of its online social network after fixing a bug exposing private data in as many as 500,000 accounts.

Google did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Google will limit Android apps' ability to access SMS data, call logs, and contacts. The company initially closely connected Google+ with a number of other Google products, including YouTube, Hangouts and even search.

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