Google to shut down Google

Gerald Bowen
October 9, 2018

Google says it does not see evidence that developers made use of the bug before it was patched back in March, but it can't be 100 percent certain.

Saikali said it was possible that Google could face class action lawsuits over its decision not to disclose the breach. To make sure something like this Google+ leak doesn't happen again, this new initiative is set out to protect user's privacy and limit the amount of data developers have access to across the web and Android.

However, it sounds like Google was ready to shut down the platform regardless of this issue, citing in its announcement the consumer version's "very low usage".

The company announced on its blog on Monday that data from up to 500,000 users may have been exposed to external developers by a bug that was present for more than two years in its systems. Google was afraid it, too, would become the center of attention following Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, and as such chose not to disclose the information to its users.

Some of that qualifies as legally protected personally identifiable information, and its exposure could trigger scrutiny from federal and state regulators, including some who have probed Google before on similar issues.

On Monday, the company announced that it was shutting down its social network, Google+, which was the source of the flaw.

Many have long suspected that Google+ was in its final days, but nearly no-one could have predicted it would end like this.

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The project launched in 2011 as an alternative to other social networks ended up being a huge failure for the company. This, combined with the community's extremely low user base-90% of Google+ sessions are under 5 seconds-were enough for Google to be done with it for good.

Smith also went on to confirm that the company had found a "bug", affecting as many as 500,000 users, that exposed users' private data to third-party apps between 2015 until this March 2018.

The bug allowed app developers to access information like names, email addresses, occupation, gender and more.

Google also said it would begin restricting the data it provides to outside developers.

The company will wind down the Google Plus network during a 10-month period expected to be done by the end of next August, Smith wrote in his post.

Google is also making some changes to its Gmail API and is limiting Android apps that request to receive Call Log and SMS permissions.

In the last two months, U.S. politicians on both sides of the aisle have stepped up their attacks on Google, with Republicans accusing it of harbouring biases against them and Democrats questioning whether the company has gotten too big and powerful.

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