Google sets new rules for third-party apps to access Gmail data

Google sets new rules for third-party apps to access Gmail data

Google sets new rules for third-party apps to access Gmail data

The move effectively puts the final nail in the coffin of a product that was launched in 2011 to challenge Facebook Inc. and is widely seen as one of Google's biggest failures. Google rather famously snubbed the United States Senate Intelligence Committee when it chose to no-show a hearing on consumer privacy issues, a hearing that both Facebook and Twitter sent top leaders to. The company said in a blog post that it was not aware that any outsider had discovered the bug or used it to gain improper access to user data, though in previous online security incidents, such discoveries sometimes lag by months or years after a computer bug has been initially reported. The company said it had considered whether or not it could accurately identify which users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response.

Google admits that Google+ has failed to achieve broad consumer or developer adoption since its introduction. The company says this is because it simply didn't meet the necessary thresholds for reporting, but the Wall Street Journal reports it was because the company feared regulation.

The company revealed that the usage and engagement of Google+ is even lower than some might have guessed, as 90 percent of user sessions lasted less than 5 seconds.

The data being stolen includes full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship status.

For those wanting to save their Google+ data before the network sunsets, this can be done through Google Takeout while logged in with your Google account. Google further said that the enterprise version of Google+ will continue.

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The private data of almost half a million Google+ users was exposed to third-party developers, and Google failed to notify anyone.

During the next 10 months, Google will provide consumers with "additional information" regarding ways they can download or migrate their data to other social media platforms if they so desire. Gmail add-ons access will also be limited. Google discovered the flaw earlier this year but didn't mention anything so they wouldn't get lumped into Facebook's negative PR tornado, which is sketchy. It's also limiting said apps' ability to access private data outside of specific use cases.

Apps requesting user data in SMS "only an app that you've selected as your default app for making calls or text messages will be able to make these requests".

Finally, the Android contacts API will no longer let third-party apps access interactions with contacts.

This is important because it will restrict access to only one or two apps at a time.

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