Google shuts down Google+ following massive security flaw

Google exposed personal data of almost 500,000 and didn't disclose it

Google Shutters Google+ Following Privacy Vulnerability

Upon discovering the bug, Google patched it, but opted not to disclose it to the public out of fear of regulatory pressure and unfavorable comparisons to Facebook's Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

According to Google, data that may have potentially been disclosed only includes "static, optional Google+ Profile fields including name, email address, occupation, gender and age".

Google, however, claims that there is "no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API" and that is has "found no evidence that any Profile data was misused".

Google said it found no evidence of data misuse.

The Google+ vulnerability was discovered at a time that nearly coincided with the notorious privacy leakage scandal of the world's largest social media network Facebook, which has been widely criticized for its failure to protect its users' private data.

While Google has faced scrutiny in recent months for allowing third-party apps to access and share data from Gmail accounts, much of the privacy uproar hitting the tech industry has focused on Facebook.

A Google spokesperson cited "significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers" expectations" along with "very low usage' as the reasons for the move. The shut down will take place over a 10 month period, with the social network shutting down in August 2019.

Google's own social network, Google+, will shut down after a vulnerability exposed the personal information of over 500,000 users, according to CNET. But Google says it has no way of confirming these numbers or which users may have had their data exposed improperly.

The only way to fully delete your Google+ account at this time is to completely delete your Google Account, which you can do here.

Google today revealed that it's shutting down the consumer version of Google+. Google also says that instead of showing all the permissions required in a single screen, apps will show you each requested permission one at a time so that you have a better knowledge of what you're giving permission to.

Google also announced that, "we can not confirm which users were impacted by this bug".

For Google, a data privacy reckoning may finally come as a result of a service that it admits nearly no one uses much anymore.

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