Sci-tech

Google to close Google+ social networking site

Google to close Google+ social networking site

This comes from the Wall Street Journal who cited unnamed sources and internal documents. And an internal memo noted that while there wasn't any evidence of misuse on behalf of developers, there wasn't a way to know for sure whether any misuse took place.

The company did a review of its third party developer access to Google accounts and Android device data and found a bug in the Google + People APIs.

In the blog post, Google said it did not immediately announce the problems with Google+ because it was not sure which users to inform, who they were and what affected users could do to protect themselves.

If there is a silver lining, phone numbers, email messages, timeline photos, direct messages, or any other type of communication data were not exposed, according to the Wall Street Journal. As a result all European Union data protection authorities have jurisdiction to engage with Google on the breach.

A bug in Google+ exposed the personal data of almost 500,000 people and Google chose not to disclose it out of fears of regulatory pressure.

"None of these thresholds were met here", they said.

Shares of Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc, were down 2.6% following the news.

Google has now decided that the incident shows Google+ APIs and associated controls are too challenging to develop and maintain, so it will shutter the social network over a ten-month period.

Google goes "beyond legal requirements" and applies "several criteria focused on our users" when deciding whether to provide notice, a spokesperson said in a statement.

Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, accessed information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge. As a result, all European Union data protection authorities have jurisdiction to engage with Google on the breach.

Around 500,000 users were affected by this, potentially. Also, Smith is adamant Project Strobe found "no evidence" this bug was abused or even that the developers using the API were aware it existed.

"Only apps directly enhancing email functionality - such as email clients, email backup services and productivity services (e.g., CRM and mail merge services) - will be authorised to access this data", Smith added.

Google has admitted that adoption of the its social network and subsequent user engagement has been low, with 90% of Google+ user sessions lasting for less than five seconds. Google further said that the enterprise version of Google+ will continue.