Google+ gets the axe after exposing users’ private info

Google+ gets the axe after exposing users’ private info

Internet giant Google has said it is shutting down the consumer version of its own social networking site Google+ due to low usage and a bug discovered in March a year ago that could leak the data of about half a million of its users. Thankfully, according to Google, no developer was aware of the bug, was misusing the Google+ API, or had misused private data from users' profiles.

The data involved was limited to optional profile fields, including name, age, gender, occupation and email addresses, and posts, messages or telephone numbers could not be accessed, a spokesperson said.

Project Strobe will also lead to Google account holders getting more fine-grained controls over the data they share with apps, which now have overly broad access to user information, Google said.

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.

Through the social network of Google+, data from hundreds of thousands of users has been exposed for years, and was discovered by Google this spring.

What's more, the company will "sunset" the Google+ social network in an operation called Project Strobe. Google CEO Sundar Pichai was briefed on the decision to not disclose the finding, after an internal committee had already decided the plan, the Journal said.


According to the paper, the memo said that while Google could not find evidence that the exposed data had been misused, it also could not prove that misuse did not happen. Google is also following from its limiting of Gmail scans by limiting which applications - namely, down to email apps - can do so. Google has also advised they will remove access to the contact interaction data from the Android Contacts API which allowed apps to show you your most recent contacts, within the next few months.

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

Google has declined to comment on why it held off reporting the breach.

In any case, the conclusion is the same: Google is shutting down the consumer version of Google+, citing challenges in maintaining the service effectively. The company now says that 90% of user sessions today last less than 5 seconds.

When you hit that, Google will let you know what you're about to do and give you options to get more details about the implications of deleting your account.

Related Articles

  • "Don’t get flu, get immunised" Global Positioning System urge

    Pregnancy naturally weakens the body's immune system and as a result flu can cause serious complications for you and your baby. Some local pharmacies now offer flu vaccination to adults (though not children) who may be at risk of flu.
    Limousine crash at popular tourist spot kills 20 in NY

    Limousine crash at popular tourist spot kills 20 in NY

    Speaking through tears, Valerie Abeling said her niece, Erin Vertucci, was among the victims. "She was a lovely , sweet soul". Police said Sunday they were not releasing any of the victims' names, pending autopsies and notification of next of kin.
    Turkish-Arab journalists: We stand with Khashoggi

    Turkish-Arab journalists: We stand with Khashoggi

    Jamal Khashoggi's fiancée told media outlets that she waited hours for Khashoggi to emerge from the consulate in Istanbul. Yemeni activist and 2011 victor of the Nobel Peace Prize Tawakkol Karman slammed Saudi authorities at the gathering.
  • Barbara Bush marries Craig Louis Coyne in private ceremony

    Barbara Bush marries Craig Louis Coyne in private ceremony

    Barbara Pierce Bush was married Sunday in a private ceremony in coastal ME , her family announced in a statement. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush posted photos of the wedding showing the happy family.
    Pompeo: North Korea ready to invite inspectors to nuclear site

    Pompeo: North Korea ready to invite inspectors to nuclear site

    Pompeo landed in Pyongyang on Sunday morning to meet Kim after visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday in Tokyo. Pompeo said they came close to finalising a date and venue for the next Kim-Trump meeting.
    Aaron Ramsey wonder goal stuns Fulham, Chelsea beat Southampton

    Aaron Ramsey wonder goal stuns Fulham, Chelsea beat Southampton

    When we scored the first goal it was the moment we could play with more confidence in the pitch. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both struck twice for the 5-1 win.
  • Usual suspects among Ballon d’Or nominees

    Usual suspects among Ballon d’Or nominees

    For the first time, a Ballon d'Or for women players will be awarded this year, with the nominees to be announced later Monday. Liverpool's Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino and Uruguay's rugged defender Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid also got the nod.
    Bulgarian man detained in Germany over rape and murder of journalist

    Bulgarian man detained in Germany over rape and murder of journalist

    Police in Germany have arrested a suspect in the rape and killing of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova , officials said. The body of the 30-year-old journalist, who police said had been raped, beaten and suffocated, was found on Saturday.
    Florida State closes campuses ahead of Hurricane Michael

    Florida State closes campuses ahead of Hurricane Michael

    The storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour , and slow strengthening is forecast in the next few days. Current forecast guidance suggests a landfall near Panama City Beach early Wednesday.
  • Brett Kavanaugh makes US Supreme Court debut

    Brett Kavanaugh makes US Supreme Court debut

    Every Justice seated in the past 30 years, including Kavanaugh, has received a law degree from Harvard, Columbia or Yale. At least one of the liberal justices declined to vote for cert in this case, and perhaps more than one.
    Tito Mboweni appointed new finance minister after Nhlanhla Nene’s abrupt resignation

    Tito Mboweni appointed new finance minister after Nhlanhla Nene’s abrupt resignation

    Chawasema said the rand already started to firm ahead of the announcement‚ on rumours that Mboweni would be offered the job. Speaking on Tuesday afternoon at Tuynhuys, Ramaphosa said Mboweni would provide the strong leadership needed at this time.
    Second suspect in Skripal poisoning identified: Research group

    Second suspect in Skripal poisoning identified: Research group

    A second suspect in the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter has been named by a British investigative website. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov told RT's editor-in-chief they had nothing to do with the Skripals' poisoning.