Google to finally shut down Google Plus as massive security breach revealed

Google to finally shut down Google Plus as massive security breach revealed

Google to finally shut down Google Plus as massive security breach revealed

Social media network Google+ will be shut down following yet another security breach after no less than its parent company revealed that at least half a million accounts appear to have been compromised. "None of these thresholds were met here". Thankfully, according to Google, no developer was aware of the bug, was misusing the Google+ API, or had misused private data from users' profiles.

The bug meant that apps also had access to Profile fields that were shared with the user, but not marked as public.

The information exposed in the Google+ data breach included full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation, and relationship status.

Google is now shutting down Google+, but not because of the lack of users and activity. Google said up to 438 external applications, such as online games or quizzes, could have exploited the flaw.

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"Our review showed that Google+ is better suited as an enterprise product where co-workers can engage in internal discussions on a secure corporate social network", Google said.

"Users have the right to be notified if their information could have been compromised", said Friedman CyZen managing director Jacob Lehmann, attributing Google's actions to the scrutiny that Facebook received after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. According the WSJ, Google CEO Sundar Pichai both knew of and agreed with the decision not to plan to not disclose the data exposure.

Allegedly, the glitch enabled outside developers to gain unauthorized access to the relevant for quite some time - from 2015 until Google's discovery in March of this year. To make sure something like this Google+ leak doesn't happen again, this new initiative is set out to protect user's privacy and limit the amount of data developers have access to across the web and Android. 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+", Google said in the blog announcement.

Companies have to inform a supervisory authority within 72 hours of a personal data breach under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - unless the breach is not likely to risk the rights and freedom of affected users.

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