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article imageGoogle+ to be shut down after data breach

By Tim Sandle     Oct 8, 2018 in Internet
Google+, Google's attempt to create a social media network to rival Facebook, is shutting down. This comes after users' data has been reported to have been exposed, an incident that dates back to March to 2018.
According to the BBC, Google is to close down the bulk of its problematic social network Google+. This comes after reports that 500,000 people had their data exposed. Google has indicated that a programming flaw in its software led to information becoming accessible by third parties.
Google Plus (Google+) is an Internet-based social network owned and operated by Google. The service was conceived as a rival to other social media sites, but it failed to capture the imagination of the general public, resulting in a decline in messages being posted or shared.
On October 8, 2018, Google declared that it was to shut down Google+ for consumers after The Wall Street Journal reported that Google opted not to disclose its discovery of a bug in Google+ that exposed the data of hundreds of thousands of users. A software glitch in the social site gave outside developers potential access to private Google+ profile data between 2015 and March 2018. Google chose not to report the data breach, the paper claims, because this could "draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage."
There are signs, The Guardian reports, that Google attempted to keep the data breach quiet. Google policy and legal officials apparently wrote, the U.K. news site notes: "Disclosure will likely result “in us coming into the spotlight alongside or even instead of Facebook despite having stayed under the radar throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal.”
According to CNBC, Google has indicated that 438 apps could used the application programming interface that made the private data available. The Alphabet owned company states it has found no evidence that any developers misused the information. However, Google has said, via a blogpost, that it will shut down consumer access to Google+ and put in place measures to improve privacy protections for third-party applications.
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