Google shuts down Google

Doris Richards
October 11, 2018

Google said in the blog post that it "discovered and immediately patched" a bug in March 2018 that potentially allowed app developers to access profile data from users that had not been marked as public.

The Wall Street Journal says it reviewed an internal memo circulated among Google's legal staff and senior executives that warned of "immediate regulatory interest" and public comparisons to Facebook's user information leak to Cambridge Analytica should the mistake become public.

Google said up to 500,000 users had been affected. "None of these thresholds were met in this instance".

Shares of Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc, were down 2.6% following the news. It said it had no evidence that any third-party developer was aware of the bug or had misused profile data.

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.

Google+ will come to an end for consumers next August, but business users will still be able to use the service as an internal corporate social network. The move effectively puts the final nail in the coffin of a product that was launched in 2011 to challenge Facebook Inc. and is widely seen as one of Google's biggest failures. No developer exploited the vulnerability or misused data, the company's review found. However, Google claims to have no evidence that suggests that any external developer or app had access to the data.

The exposed information did not include posts, messages or telephone numbers, a Google spokesperson said.

They said the firm would now "sunset" the app, which failed to truly challenge market leader Facebook, citing "very low usage".

Google's plan to withdraw the free version of Google+, scheduled for August, could help strengthen its case to USA policymakers and regulators that it is different from Facebook, which has faced political heat over allegations that data belonging to 87 million of its users was improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The Google Plus security blunder could still give the US Congress a reason to enforce tighter laws surrounding data collection.

In response to the breach, Google is shutting down all consumer functionality of Google+.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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