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.
They came to four findings with Project Strobe with four actions to take.
The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers' expectations.
When people found out about it, it chose to shut down Google+ in a knee-jerk reaction. So, for example, your default messaging app will have access to SMS permissions, and the default dialer can access Call Logs.
Android data access is being restricted to app developers.
But it's not doing so exclusively out of concern for users' privacy: Smith admitted the network is not a success, saying "The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds". Google+ will, however, be kept alive for businesses, who use it as a secure place for co-workers to communicate. "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", Google said.
Google's excuse is that it found no evidence of any of the data being misused, however, it also has no way of being sure of that. That's it, according to Google.
The shutdown of Google+ won't happen immediately but will instead be a "wind-down" that ends in August 2019.
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.
If you want to know more on that, be sure to follow through that source link. Google is also following from its limiting of Gmail scans by limiting which applications - namely, down to email apps - can do so. Above, you can see how those controls will soon look.
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Facebook introduced a feature that allowed users to connect their accounts with their profiles on dating, music and other apps. Some people will be able to set up Facebook accounts under their avatar names, and hope Facebook doesn't notice, or use their real names to communicate with other users.
The firm is also ending access to contact interaction data on Android devices.
All these changes are happening in the coming months, giving users more control over their own data.