Google+ to shut down after breach involving 500,000 users

A bug in Google+ exposed the data of hundreds of thousands. Google covered it

A bug in Google+ exposed the data of hundreds of thousands. Google covered it

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Google accidentally leaked the private data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users between 2015 and March of this year. Before patching it, Google ran an analysis and found that up to 500,000 Google+ accounts were affected. It also said that it would strengthen Android app permission requirements to give users more fine-grained control over their mobile phone data, and that it would make it harder for apps to access sensitive information, like SMS messages and call records.

To crack down on potential misuse data, Google will only allow third-party Gmail apps that directly involve email functionality, such as email clients, backup services, mail-merge services, and expense tracking. One of the findings that stemmed from Project Strobe was that the consumer version of Google+ was no longer worth maintaining.

The shutdown of the consumer version of the service will be completed over the next 10 months and the platform will be completely buried in August 2019.

After several unsuccessful attempts to revive interest in Google+ and get more users on board, Google has chose to shut down the consumer version of the platform by the end of August 2019. By the company's reckoning, up to 438 applications may have been able to access private profile data because of the software bug.

The news comes just two weeks after Facebook revealed almost 50m users had been affected by a similar privacy lapse.

Now, after several years of speculation that it was going to be shut down, Google is bringing Google+ for consumers to an end.

'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, ' Google said in a blog post.

According to WSJ sources, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was briefed on the plan only after the decision not to inform the public was made - riiiiight.

Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, accessed information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

Smith, however, announced that Google Plus will not be shut down immediately.

The only way to fully delete your Google+ account at this time is to completely delete your Google Account, which you can do here. "Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data", he wrote.