Google is shutting down Google Plus for consumers

Posted October 09, 2018

The company announced on its blog on Monday that data from up to 500,000 users may have been exposed to external developers by a bug that was present for more than two years in its systems.

Google put the "final nail in the coffin" of the Google+ product by shutting down "all consumer functionality", the Wall Street Journal reported citing an internal memo.

As for what info was exposed, it's reported that "full names, email address, birth dates, gender, profile photos, placed lived, occupation, and relationship status" were all up for grabs.

As a bit of a bright side, however, there was no evidence that any developer was even aware this bug existed, despite 438 applications using the API.

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Meanwhile, Google said the flaw was an unexploited API bug discovered and fixed internally before anyone externally found it - and in any case, it's shuttering Google+ because netizens don't use it. Businesses will still be able to use the service as an internal chat channel, though.

Google discovers a bug that may have compromised the data of 500,000 users.

The Google+ shutdown, meanwhile, will occur over the next 10 months, so get your fill before August 2019.

Google's Privacy and Data Protection Office was where the decision was made to not notify users, and the company decided that since it doesn't know which developers have what data, there's really no action that users could take.

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How the Google Account permissions dialog box looks now, as opposed to the new version in header. Google is finally killing its bad social network Google+.

The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers' expectations. Ben Smith, Google's VP of Engineering, disclosed more information about the security issue, and how it was discovered.

Google also announced that, in addition to shutting down Google+, it's revamping its account permissions to allow users to pick and choose which data they share with third-party apps. Google neglected to report the breach to the public, allegedly out of fear that the company would face regulations and damage to its reputation, according to sources and documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

Google admits that Google+ has failed to achieve broad consumer or developer adoption since its introduction. (There are some exceptions-e.g., voicemail and backup apps.) Developers can find more details in the Google Play Developer Policy Center and in the Help Center. The change makes it so users must individually grant or deny each permission to access data in their consumer Google account, rather than accept or deny permissions all at the same time.

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