Google to shutter Google+ following undisclosed privacy breach

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Google neglected to report the breach to the public, allegedly out of fear that the company would face regulations and damage to its reputation, according to sources and documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal. But a two-week-long review of Google+ found that up to 500,000 users may have had their data exposed to developers of 438 applications.

The data involved was limited to optional profile fields, including name, age, gender, occupation and email addresses, and posts, messages or telephone numbers could not be accessed, a spokesperson said. The lawsuit was blocked in the High Court on Monday. "The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds", the company said in a statement. Google was afraid it, too, would become the center of attention following Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, and as such chose not to disclose the information to its users. Google+ underwent numerous changes and updates over the roughly seven years of its existence. In the wake of the report, Google posted that the breach or potential breach resulted from a bug in an API.

The company added that it made a decision to sunset the consumer version of Google+ due to the significant challenges in creating and maintaining it and its very low usage.

"Our review showed that our Google+ APIs, and the associated controls for consumers, are challenging to develop and maintain".

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Many have long suspected that Google+ was in its final days, but nearly no-one could have predicted it would end like this. Google is finally killing its awful social network Google+. On Monday, Google said 90 percent of Google+ sessions today last less than five seconds. This method will better secure third party APIs with Google services, allowing for less data to be given to outside applications.

The consumer functionality of Google+ will be closing over a 10 month period, while Google transitions the product to be used internally by the Enterprise.

The launch of Google+ felt forced, especially since Google rewarded webmasters who integrated the service into their sites and switched the comment system and inbox system on YouTube and other sites to Google+. As you can see from the above screenshots, instead of just offering a master "Allow" button that gives the third-party access to various items, the new permission box will be more granular, details each data type at length, and provide users with the ability to allow or deny each thing.

Finding 3: When users grant apps access to their Gmail, they do so with certain use cases in mind.