Google+ shutting down following security bug

Angelica Greene
October 10, 2018

In a world where there seems to be a new social network data breach every couple of weeks, according to a Wall Street Journal report, a software glitch within Google+ potentially gave third-party developers access to hundreds of thousands of user's private data.

Shares of its parent company Alphabet Inc, however, were down 1.5 percent at $1150.75 in response to what was the latest in a run of privacy issues to hit the United States' big tech companies. We do know the affected accounts had their full name, email addresses, birth date, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation, and relationship status exposed. The company stated in its post that there was no evidence "that any developer was aware of this bug, or. that any Profile data was misused".

A bug in Google+ exposed the personal data of almost 500,000 people and Google chose not to disclose it out of fears of regulatory pressure.

Since launching in 2011, Google Plus failed to garner a mass audience, and was broken into separate products in 2015. So a group of the company's executives ruled that the firm should stay quiet about the flaw, and reportedly informed Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, of their decision. When those friends signed into apps using Google+, app developers ask for permission to get profile information and are granted. "None of these thresholds were met in this instance", said Google.

Google does not yet have a lead EU Supervisory authority, as the breach apparently happened before the EU's new privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), was implemented.

Earlier this year, Google started a project to review third-party developer access to Google accounts through the use of APIs.

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Ortega said such delays in reporting data leaks could become more common among technology companies as they looked to protect their reputation in the wake of legislation and privacy laws.

Google is also going to be limiting access to the apps seeking access to your SMS and Gmail data.

We discovered and immediately patched this bug in March 2018. Info that was not exposed includes email messages, Google+ timeline posts, direct messages with other users, phone numbers and "any other type of communication data".

The company said the bug was located in the Google+ People API.

Google said it launched an effort at the beginning of the year called Project Strobe created to review how other apps connect to Google +'s services, and that it was making other changes as a result.

Other reports by GizPress

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