Google exposed data for hundreds of thousands of users

Share
Google exposed data for hundreds of thousands of users

Google is shutting down its long-neglected Facebook competitor Google+ following the disclosure of a vulnerability that could have resulted in third-party developers accessing private data from around 500,000 users, the company announced Monday.

Per WSJ, a "software glitch" allowed user data to be potentially exposed to unwanted eyes from 2015 all the way through March 2018 when Google learned about it. "The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds", the company said in a statement.

Google+ has always been the butt of many jokes as a failed social network that refuses to die, but according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal and then an official response from Google itself, it looks like it's been home to a serious security vulnerability for three years that Google chose to not disclose to the public. However, it says it has tracked down "up to 438" apps that may have used the API in question.

Google also noted that the data that was exposed was limited to "optional Google+ Profile fields including name, email address, occupation, gender and age". The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: "90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds".

'We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any profile data was misused, ' Smith said. Users' private messages were not affected, according to the company.

Just as the Wall Street Journal was posting an article that dove into the data exposure, Google announced Project Strobe. Now, only apps that fit a particular use case will be able to access these permissions. Chief Executive Sundar Pichai was briefed on the plan not to notify users after an internal committee had reached that decision, the people said.

We made Google+ with privacy in mind and therefore keep this API's log data for only two weeks. The first move? Shut down Google+ for consumers.

The announcement comes as public scrutiny has intensified around Silicon Valley tech giants' management of user data, among other issues.

Google said Monday that it will phase out Google+ over the next ten months. Over the course of this slow shutdown, they'll let you know of ways to download and migrate your data from it.

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.

Google says it will give users a 10-month period to transition out of Google+, slated for completion by the end of next August.

And finally, for action 4, Google is going to limit how many apps are allowed to ask for phone and SMS data permissions in Google Play.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Leicester City to move for Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne?
However, Guardiola admitted his plan for a slower tempo to stop Liverpool springing onto the counter-attack had worked. But the Egyptian again looked far from his best and snatched at the sort of chances he buried last season.

Officials warn about viral Facebook message hoax
Facebook says there has been no known uptick in cloned accounts this week, when the messages started circulating, WSYR reported . The message claims the sender has received a second friend request from you and warns you to check your account.

Microsoft pulls file-deleting Win10 October Update
Dona Sarkar, who runs the Windows Insider Program, tweeted that those who are affected by this issue to call Microsoft's support lines .

Unprecedented action needed to curb global warming
The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its gloomy report at a meeting in Incheon, South Korea . The IPCC report , however, shows that global warming impacts have come sooner and hit harder than predicted.

OnePlus 6T will be announced on October 30
Along with some bank offers, the final price of the base variant comes down to Rs 27,999. OnePlus has finally announced the launch date for its next flagship - the OnePlus 6T .

MIT alumnus William Nordhaus wins Nobel Prize in economic sciences
Last year's prize went to American Richard Thaler for studying how human irrationality affects economic theory. Mr Romer also works with civic innovators as director of NYU's Marron Institute of Urban Management.

Melania Trump mocked for Egypt outfit that looks like Colonel Sanders
As well as the national park, she visited an orphanage and watched a children's performance at the city's national theatre. Photo credit: watoday.comMelania Trump receiving flowers from a flower girl on her arrival to the Cape Coast Fante, Ghana.

Nana Patekar cancels press conference on Tanushree Dutta's sexual harassment allegations
At a time when #MeToo debate was heating up after Tanushree's allegations, Nana was busy shooting for Housefull 4 in Rajasthan. Nana Patekar addressed Tanushree Dutta sexual harassment claims on Monday afternoon with a one line comment to the media.

Tropical Storm Michael Could Turn Into 'Devastating' Hurricane Before It Hits Florida
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles to the northeast and southeast of the center. Tropical Storm Michael has max sustained winds of 70 miles per hour and is moving north at 7mph.

All Black suffers broken neck in Springbok victory
That will allow for upwards of 20 players to arrive in London early to prepare for the match at Twickenham the following week. But again, I think that will be a good learning curve for us.

© 2015 . All Rights reserved.