Google to be shut down for consumers after bug exposed user data

Google to be shut down for consumers after bug exposed user data

Google to be shut down for consumers after bug exposed user data

Google said that 90 percent of all Google+ sessions don't last more than five seconds, confirming rumors that the site was more of a ghost town, when compared to Twitter and Facebook.

Google's failure to notify their customers of a data breach could land them in hot water in Australia with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) looking into the breach. The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: "90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds". The software flaw affected how the social network, created to rival Facebook but never seriously challenging it, interacted with third-party applications. The reason, as reported by WSJ, is that it wasn't reported "because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage". In July, the company was criticized after reports that employees for a third-party email app could read emails if those third-party apps had been integrated with email users' Gmail accounts.

The Wall Street Journal, which was the first to report about it said that a software glitch in the social site gave outside developers potential access to private Google+ profile data between 2015 and March 2018, when internal investigators discovered and fixed the issue. The Alphabet-owned company also said Monday it would curtail developer access to user data on Android phones and Gmail. Data security experts now estimate 500,000 users had their profile data exposed. "That means we can not confirm which users were impacted by this bug". Google's public statements state that it has found no evidence that any user profile data has been misused.

According to the blog post, the Google Plus data that was potentially exposed included names, email addresses, occupations, date of birth, profile photos and genders.

Despite that, the company plans to keep Google+ operational as an enterprise product, allowing companies to use it as an internal communication platform for employees. "Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data". Google also says that it's limiting apps' ability to get your Call Log and SMS permissions on Android devices, allowing only an app that you've selected as your default calling and texting app to make these requests.

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