Google+ is Dead, Survived By Better Privacy Controls
- Author: Terrell Bush Oct 09, 2018,
Oct 09, 2018, 1:30
The tech giant said it would shut down the consumer version of the platform after it revealed users' data may have been exposed by a bug that was present for more than two years. Google explains Strobe as "a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps' data access". Google further said that the enterprise version of Google+ will continue.
Google's own social media platform i.e. Google+ is now shutting down permanently for consumers.
The data involved was limited to optional profile fields, including name, age, gender, occupation and email address, Google said.
The Journal also reports that Alphabet chose not to disclose the issue this past spring, when the issue was first discovered, "in part because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage..."
Google said Monday that it will phase out Google+ over the next ten months.
The exposure was the result of a flaw in programming interfaces Google made available to developers of applications that interacted with users' Google+ profiles, Google officials said in a post published after the WSJ report.
In any case, the conclusion is the same: Google is shutting down the consumer version of Google+, citing challenges in maintaining the service effectively. Specifically, Google started looking at its API endpoints over concern developers could abuse them.
As many as 438 developers "may have used" the API in question, which could potentially impact up to 500,000 people, according to Google.
Action 2: We are launching more granular Google Account permissions that will show in individual dialog boxes. There will be a 10-month transition and final closure will happen in August 2019.
On Android, the contacts API will no longer include access to call log and SMS data unless you set the requesting app as your default.
Google has recently been at the center of a number of privacy breaches.
Apps will be required to inform users what data they will have access to.
Google plans to make announcements in the coming months that provide consumers with additional information such as options to migrate data or download it, the latter likely through Google's Takeout service.
The launch of Google+ felt forced, especially since Google rewarded webmasters who integrated the service into their sites and switched the comment system and inbox system on YouTube and other sites to Google+.