Upon discovering the bug, Google patched it, but opted not to disclose it to the public out of fear of regulatory pressure and unfavorable comparisons to Facebook's Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.
In response to the breach, Google is shutting down all consumer functionality of Google+.
Besides low usage, Google+ engagement rates are also defeating, with 90-percent of all sessions lasting for under five seconds, according to Alphabet's subsidiary.
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 office looks at what data was taken, what affected users need to be informed, if there was any evidence of data abuse, and whether or not users could effectively respond.
Googlesaid it would continue to offer private Google+-powered networks for businesses now using the software.
Although the bug was discovered many months ago, Google didn't disclose it right away.
Google chose not to disclose the flaw this past spring out of concern it would trigger regulatory backlash, especially in the wake of criticism against Facebook Inc. for its privacy issues, the newspaper reported. Google+ users could even allow a third-party app to access the public information of friends.
Google announced today that it is shutting down the Google+ social network after the company's engineers found an API bug that might have exposed some private profile data for more than 500,000 Google+ users.
Now, users will be given greater control over what account data they choose to share with each app.
For action 3, this is related to Gmail and is limiting what permissions apps can seek as it relates to Gmail data.
Google also announced new API changes in an effort to restrict developers' access to data on Android devices and Gmail.
Only email clients, email backup services and productivity services will be able to access this data. Instead of seeing a single screen asking for permission to use your Google account, you'll now see individual pop-up boxes for each item an app is requesting access to with an explanation of what's being requested. Chief Executive Sundar Pichai was briefed on the plan not to notify users after an internal committee had reached that decision, the people said.
Writing in a blog post Monday, Google attempted to downplay the incident, saying it hasn't found any signs that the bug was exploited.
Why is Google+ shutting down? While Google+ will no longer be a consumer product, new features will be coming soon to turn it into an enterprise-focused platform.
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