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Google+ to shut down after coverup of data breach

In Category Google News Posted by err0r On 10/21/18 Comments 0
Google is about to have its Cambridge Analytica moment. A security bug allowed third-party developers to access Google+ user profile data since 2015 until Google discovered and patched it in March, but decided not to inform the world. When a user gave permission to an app to access their public profile data, the bug also let those developers pull their and their friends’ non-public profile fields. 496,951 users’ full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship status were potentially exposed, though Google says it has no evidence the data was misused by the 438 apps that could have had access.

The company decided against informing the public because it would lead to “us coming into the spotlight alongside or even instead of Facebook despite having stayed under the radar throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal” according to an internal memo. Now Google+, which was already a ghost town largely abandoned or never inhabited by users, has become a massive liability for the company.

The news comes from a damning Wall Street Journal report that said Google is expected to announce a slew of privacy reforms today in response to the breach. Google made that announcement about the findings of its Project Strobe security audit minutes after the WSJ report was published. The changes include stopping most third-party developers from accessing Android phone SMS data, call logs, and some contact info. Gmail will restrict building add-ons to a small number of developers. Google+ will cease all its consumer services while winding down over the next 10-months with an opportunity for users to export their data while Google refocuses on making G+ an enterprise product.


Read full article @ https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/08/google-plus-hack/
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