Google+ social media platform to be killed following revelations of privacy flaw

Google exposed personal data of almost 500,000 and didn't disclose it

A Google+ security breach gave outside developers access to the private data of hundreds of thousands of the social network's users between 2015 and March 2018, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The bug, discovered in March during an internal company review, could have allowed outside software developers - or people posing as outside developers - to learn the names, email addresses, occupations, genders and ages of Google+ users. Explaining this bug, Google said, "With this API, users can grant access to their Profile data, and the public Profile information of their friends to Google+ apps". In the meantime, Google says users should stay tuned for more information on how to download their data from the site, should they so desire. "None of these thresholds were met in this instance", he said.

According to the Journal, Google's legal and policy team warned senior executives at the company that disclosing the security flaw could lead to "immediate regulatory interest".

Google+ minus people: In a blog post published after the article ran, Google said it had found no evidence data had been abused, and that it would shut off consumer access to Google+ (a corporate version will presumably continue to run).

Google has denied the newspaper's accusations, saying it determined its course of action based on the data involved in the breach, lack of evidence of data misuse and the challenge of determining precisely how many and which users were affected.

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In a statement, a lawyer for Evans said that she was disappointed by the district attorney's decision to "abandon" her client. Remaining charges include allegations Weinstein raped a woman in 2013 and forced a sex act on a different woman in 2006.

Google+ will come to an end for consumers next August, but business users will still be able to use the service as an internal corporate social network. Google plans to shut down its social network and announce new privacy measures in response to the incident, the paper said. In fact, 90%of Google+ user sessions only last less than five seconds.

Google will limit Android apps' ability to access SMS data, call logs, and contacts.

Gmail add-ons available to consumers starting next year will be barred from selling user data and be subject to a third-party security assessment that will cost them about $15,000 to $75,000, Google said.

The WSJ report and Google blog both agree that Google discovered the bug in spring of 2018, although the motivation for what happened afterwards differs. Google also says that instead of showing all the permissions required in a single screen, apps will show you each requested permission one at a time so that you have a better knowledge of what you're giving permission to.

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