Tech

Google to shutdown Google+ after security glitch

Google to shutdown Google+ after security glitch

It found a security breach surrounding Google+, and is now shutting the service down, at least for consumers. Google has since made a decision to shut down the network for consumers.

In the blog post, Smith says Google discovered the bug in March as part of Project Strobe-"a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps' data access".

This is Google's response after the company came under criticism in July for letting third-party apps roam free and access users' Gmail data, including the content of Gmail emails.

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.

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Google also said the consumer version of Google+ had low usage and engagement and 90% of user sessions are less than five seconds long, essentially trashing its own product to cover up.

The company said that its review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ "that meets consumers" expectations'.

To give people a full opportunity to transition, we will implement this wind-down over a 10-month period, slated for completion by the end of next August. Either way, the news casts a shadow over the Pixel event, and completely distracts from the other small but useful tweaks the company released today regarding privacy, in particular the fact that it is now rolling out more granular Google account permissions. Google is finally killing its awful social network Google+. Enterprise customers can set common access rules, and use central controls, for their entire organization.

"With this breach announcement, the empty seat bearing Google's name just became a lot hotter", said Mike Chapple, an associate professor of information technology, analytics and operations at the University of Notre Dame. A Google spokesman says that while the company was trying to decide whether or not to go public about the security breach, the company took into consideration "whether we could accurately identify the users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse, and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response". If an app wants access to a Calendar and Drive documents, for example, you can opt to share one but not the other. They're also limiting app's access to your Gmail account moving forward, so only apps that "directly enhance" email functionality (like email clients and backup services) will be able to access your Gmail messages. It's worth noting that Microsoft also has several active Google+ communities dedicated to its most popular Android apps such as the Microsoft Launcher, and it's not clear yet what will happen to them. By doing this, it hopes to make users of Google's apps confident that their data is secure. Google discovered the flaw earlier this year but didn't mention anything so they wouldn't get lumped into Facebook's negative PR tornado, which is sketchy.


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