Google+ to shut down after security bug

The Google app logo is seen on a smartphone in this illustration

The Google app logo is seen on a smartphone in this

Allegations of the improper use of data for 87 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by President Trump's 2016 U.S. election campaign, has hurt the shares of the world's biggest social network and prompted multiple investigations in the United States and Europe.

The timeline laid out by Google indicates the company discovered the privacy lapse around the same time that Facebook was under fire for a leak in its far more popular social network.

This is Google's response after the company came under criticism in July for letting third-party apps roam free and access users' Gmail data, including the content of Gmail emails. The company said it had considered whether or not it could accurately identify which users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response.

"'We have many enterprise customers who are finding great value in using Google+ within their companies", the internet firm said.

Google is at the centre of controversy this morning over a report of a massive user data breach that occurred a year ago, with the result that they will be introducing finer grain controls to limit access to user data on the web and Android - and also shutdown Google+ for consumers. The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.

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. The official explanation from company representatives is that a thorough study of potentially affected users was completed before the public announcement was made.

Google+, a social network that we can certainly say existed and not much more, is slated for a long-overdue trip down the memory hole. At least, it's better news if you trust Google to be honest right now.

If you're still using Google+, Google says that consumers will have a 10-month period to get ready for the closure and migrate their data. Gmail add-ons access will also be limited. (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. In other words, when an app requests access to Google account data, multiple dialog boxes pop up, each with a request for a particular permission, rather than one large dialog box with all the requested permissions (i.e. location, contacts, calendars) lumped together. So, for example, your default messaging app will have access to SMS permissions, and the default dialer can access Call Logs.

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