After an undisclosed security breach was revealed, Google+ will be shutting down

After an undisclosed security breach was revealed, Google+ will be shutting down

After an undisclosed security breach was revealed, Google+ will be shutting down

Google has finally closed its social network Google+ after announcing data from up to 500,000 users may have been exposed by a bug that was present for more than two years. 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 hoped to avoid comparisons to Facebook's leak of user information to Cambridge Analytica, the data firm accused of improperly using information on 87 million Facebook users on behalf of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, the Journal said.

To make the closure of the service as seamless as possible, Google says it'll implement a "wind-down" period over the next 10 months with the goal to have everyone off Google+ and officially pull the plug by the end of August 2019.

The US internet giant said it will "sunset" the Google+ social network for consumers that failed to gain meaningful traction after being launched in 2011 as a challenge to Facebook.

Google announced today that it is going to be shutting down its social network, Google+.

For Google, a data privacy reckoning may finally come as a result of a service that it admits nearly no one uses much anymore.

A Google spokesperson cited "significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers" expectations" along with "very low usage' as the reasons for the move. Ben Smith, Google's VP of Engineering, disclosed more information about the security issue, and how it was discovered.

The Journal reporters wrote that they reviewed a memo prepared by Google lawyers and policy experts who had warned that disclosing the glitch would cause "immediate regulatory interest" and "cause reputational damage". Specifically, third-party applications linked to G+ accounts "had access to Profile fields that were shared with the user, but not marked as public".

Facebook introduced a feature that allowed users to connect their accounts with their profiles on dating, music and other apps.

Given the potential for abuse, and the fact that nearly no one is using Google+, Alphabet opted to take the path of least resistance and yank the doddering network off life support. It's worth noting that Microsoft also has several active Google+ communities dedicated to its most popular Android apps such as the Microsoft Launcher, and it's not clear yet what will happen to them.

Play Store apps will no longer be allowed to access text message and call logs unless they are the default calling or texting app on a user's device or have an exception from Google.

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