Google+ to shut down after breach involving 500,000 users

Google+ to shut down after breach involving 500,000 users

Google+ to shut down after breach involving 500,000 users

Following this report being published, Google announced that it found the security hole in part thanks to something the company is calling Project Strobe. Those developers were granted access to user data including names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship status. It did not include phone numbers, the content of emails or messages, or other kinds of communication data. "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. The company was the target of a massive class action lawsuit in the United Kingdom after 4 million users had their personal data collected and allegedly used for targeted advertising.

'We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any profile data was misused, ' Smith said.

Google says the were able to discover and immediately patch this bug in March of this year. That means we can not confirm which users were impacted by this bug.

As many as 438 outside apps may have connected with the flawed software.

The cover up: According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Google discovered a bug in Google+ code in March and promptly fixed it, but decided not to reveal its existence.

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The firm has also promised to institute new security rules, including limits around the types of use cases that are permitted to access consumer Gmail data. As of the time of this writing, it is impossible to know who had what information leaked. Contact interaction data will no longer be available via the Android Contacts API either.

"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. Third-party SMS apps will still be allowed, but they can only access this data if the user sets the app as their default for text messaging. If you don't see the downgrade page and instead see an upgrade page, you have already deleted your Google+ profile (or didn't have one). In the company's own words, "90 per cent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds". Enterprise users will continue to have access to the platform for the foreseeable future - Google says the social media website is better as an enterprise product, anyway.

This shut down will come after a 10-month "wind-down" period, which ends next August.

What's probably more interesting to most users is that the advertising giant opted to not disclose the issue.

Do share your thoughts and opinions on Google+ being shut down in the comments section below.

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