Google+ to close following security flaw publication

Yolanda Curtis
October 12, 2018

The Wall Street Journal broke the news of the software bug, reporting that Google chose to not disclose the problem "because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage".

The data exposed included full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile pictures, places lived, occupations and relationship status.

Google said it discovered a bug in Google+ that allowed developers of "up to 438 applications" to access personal information from users who had opted to keep that information private.

"Whenever user data may have been affected, we go beyond our legal requirements and apply several criteria focused on our users in determining whether to provide notice", a Google spokesman said in a statement to WSJ.

Google's failed attempt at a social media platform, Google+, will soon be coming to an end.


Within hours, Google published its own report.

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.

In March, a security audit revealed a software bug that gave third-party apps access to Google+ private profile data people meant to share only with friends.

Google is now shutting down Google+, but not because of the lack of users and activity.

The announcement in this regard was made by Ben Smith, Google Fellow and vice-president of engineering, in a blog post Monday, in which he noted that the Indian-American headed company could not confirm which users were impacted by the bug.


On Android, Google will limit apps ability to receive users call logs and short messaging service (SMS) data.

Google says that 90 per cent of Google+ user sessions lasted for less than five seconds.

Google has even admitted that no one actually uses Google+.

Google launched the service in 2011 as a challenge to Facebook but noted in its blog post on Monday that Google "has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption".

Ireland's data protection regulator said on Tuesday that it would seek more information from Alphabet Inc's Google (GOOGL.O) regarding a security issue that may have exposed the data of at least 500,000 users to hundreds of external developers.


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