Users, shutting down social network

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

The Google Plus flaw could have allowed up to 438 external apps to scoop up user names, email addresses, occupations, genders and ages without authorisation.

The company said in a statement: "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".

According to the WSJ, Google chose not to divulge the data breach because "the incident would likely trigger "immediate regulatory interest" and invite comparisons to Facebook's leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica". These include more granular Google Account permissions that'll appear in their own individual dialog boxes and updating the User Data Policy for the consumer Gmail API to limit the apps that can seek permission to your consumer Gmail data.

The company cited the reason of the closure as the fact that Google+ had failed to achieve "broad consumer or developer adoption".

Some Android apps ask for permission to access a user's phone (including call logs) and SMS data. Users (whoever they might be) have had plenty of time to download and migrate their data before the platform's final days arrive in August of next year.

The report alleges that the bug became active in 2015, only being discovered by Google and shut down in March of this year. A bug in the API could have allowed outside developers to access the data of 496,951 users who had only opted to share their private profile data with friends.

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But it's not doing so exclusively out of concern for users' privacy: Smith admitted the network is not a success, saying "The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds".

Hot on the heels of the Facebook security breach last month, there has been another faux pas involving Google+.

David Carroll, a U.S. professor who sued Cambridge Analytica in the United Kingdom courts to reclaim his data, told The Guardian: "Google is right to be concerned and the shutdown of Google+ shows how disposable things really are in the face of accountability".

Google did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The closure isn't because people are happier using Facebook and Twitter instead of Google's service.

Meanwhile, Google planned to add new workplace-oriented features to enhance the appeal of Google+ as a "secure corporate social network" to be used inside business operations.

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