Google’s Dirty Secret That Led To The Shut Down Of Google+

Google’s Dirty Secret That Led To The Shut Down Of Google+

Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal reported Google discovered the flaw, which exposed the data of thousands of users, earlier this year.

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".

This data is limited to static, optional Google+ Profile fields including name, email address, occupation, gender and age. The bug is said to have affected as many as 500,000 accounts, though the company says it found "no evidence" that any data was actually misused. And an internal memo noted that while there wasn't any evidence of misuse on behalf of developers, there wasn't a way to know for sure whether any misuse took place.

Google+ was launched in 2011, quickly becoming a failed attempt to compete with Facebook. It said it would add "more granular" screens for granting permission to access data, and was adding new limits to the data that third-party apps can use.

The revelation is what appears to be a series of security breaches among social media networking sites, following the infamous incidents involving Facebook and Twitter.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

The tech company revealed the hacked profiles Monday in a statement, and said the glitch was discovered in March amid a review of just how much access third-party developers have to accounts called Project Strobe.

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Soon after the article was published, Google engineering fellow and vice president Ben Smith disclosed the bug and Google's plans to shut down Google+ in a blog post. As a result all European Union data protection authorities have jurisdiction to engage with Google on the breach.

Google on Monday said it has made a decision to shut down its social media network, Google+.

Companies have to inform a supervisory authority within 72 hours of a personal data breach under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - unless the breach is not likely to risk the rights and freedom of affected users.

The API allowed users to grant access to their and their friends' profile information to apps.

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

A Google spokesperson said there were "significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers' expectations".

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