Google announces plans to close Google

Google announces plans to close Google

Commenting on the incident, Jessica Ortega, a website security analyst at Web security firm SiteLock, said the Google+ flaw allowed more than 400 apps using the Google+ API to access the personal information of approximately 500,000 users.

Google deliberately avoided disclosing the problem at the time, in part to avoid drawing regulatory scrutiny and damaging its reputation, according to a Wall Street Journal story that cited anonymous individuals and documents.

Facebook was dealing with the Cambridge Analytica scandal during this time and Google was afraid to be caught in a similar scandal.

Project Strobe will also lead to Google account holders getting more fine-grained controls over the data they share with apps, which now have overly broad access to user information, Google said. The decision stems from Project Strobe, an internal effort started earlier this year with the goal of reviewing third-party developer access to Android and Google Account data.

Nevertheless, as a result of the security audit, the search giant has vowed to allow users to tightly control what data is made available to third-party applications that sync with Google accounts.

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Google+ has always been the joke of social networks; the one that people point and laugh at when discussing the number of people who log in every day.

"We discovered and immediately patched this bug in March 2018", Ben Smith, the company's vice president of engineering, wrote.

'Whenever user data may have been affected, we go beyond our legal requirements and apply several criteria focused on our users in determining whether to provide notice, ' a Google spokesman said in a statement to WSJ.

But the company kept it open long enough to cause an embarrassing privacy gaffe that could give Congress an excuse to enact tighter controls on data collection. 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. As for why it's being shut down, Google says that Google+ has "low usage and engagement", with 90 percent of G+ user sessions lasting less than five seconds. Enterprise users will continue to have access to the platform for the foreseeable future - Google says the social media website is better as an enterprise product, anyway.

App access to user Gmail data will be limited to fewer use cases, Smith said. Google also admitted that nobody really used Google+ in the first place.

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