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techkenyot.com October 16, 2018


Google Plus to close after data exposed

10 October 2018, 01:28 | Casey Mitchell

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

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

According to Google, a software glitch in the social site could allow outside developers to potentially access private profile data from up to 500,000 accounts from 2015 through March 2018.

The demise of Google+ also came as a result of a bug discovered previous year but acknowledged for the first time by Google on Monday, and the flaw in one of its Google+ "People APIs" exposed some private user data to third-party developers, including such information as the occupations, genders, ages, and email addresses of many users. The Wall Street Journal's Douglas MacMillan and Robert McMillan report that Google was anxious about public perception and regulatory scrutiny, and that Google wanted to avoid comparisons with Facebook, which at the time was dealing with its own data privacy scandal.

The profile data that was exposed included full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship status; it didn't include phone numbers, email messages, timeline posts, direct messages or any other type of communication data.

Google plans to shutter its Google+ social network for consumers, citing its limited adoption with users.

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The company is also stressing its commitment to security - now offering "more fine-grained control" of what account data Google users share with third-party apps.

Even if a third party did not exploit the security vulnerability identified by Google, the SEC would likely be interested in whether investors were properly notified about the risks and about the incident, Stark said.

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

"The flaw was discovered in March, but Google opted not to disclose this vulnerability as it found no evidence that the information had been misused".

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Google will limit Android apps' ability to access SMS data, call logs, and contacts. "Ultimately it will be up to users to proactively monitor how their data is used and what applications have access to that data by using strong passwords and carefully reviewing access requests prior to using an app like Google+", she added.

According to the paper, the memo said that while Google could not find evidence that the exposed data had been misused, it also could not prove that misuse did not happen. "One of the many things that worries me is the overall privacy and security of the platforms that know us the best, the ones we use every day". "So can Google keep the trust of its users going forward?"

Among other challenges such as a lack of engagement from users and enterprise - over 90 percent of sessions last less than 5 seconds - Google has announced in a post on its The Keyword blog that it will take 10 months to wind down the consumer-facing Google+ before shutting it down.

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