Google to Shut Down Google+ After 500,000 Users Hit By Data Breach
Google+ is being shut down.
Google+ is being shut down.(Photo: The Quint)

Google to Shut Down Google+ After 500,000 Users Hit By Data Breach

Google has decided to terminate its social media platform Google+ after a software glitch caused the search giant to expose the data of thousands of Google+ users. This development was informed by the company on Monday, where it also stated that users will no longer be able to access his/her account.

Interestingly, the company released a statement on its personal blog page that it’s terminating Google+ services, moments after a Wall Street Journal report exposed the breach, which reportedly is set to have affected over 500,000 users on Google+

According to the same report, Google opted not to disclose the discovery of a bug in its system that gave access of users’s private data to developers outside Google’s domain.

However, Google has clearly stated that no evidence has been found that suggests misuse of the data. The report also added that the data was accessible between 2015 and March 2018.

In some ways, Google has responded and acted to safeguard against the breach by deciding to shut down Google+ services for all users.

The shutdown means that most of the third party applications that require a Google+ authentication will cease to recognise the user’s profile. This means users will no longer be able to use apps that need access to Google accounts.

Google has come out and said in its blog post that Google+ currently has “low usage and engagement” which is why it's looking to discontinue the social network platform.

The estimate timeline given by Google to shut down the entire Google+ network is 10 months.

However, Google plans to keep the service operational for enterprise customers who use it to facilitate conversation among co-workers. An update for the same will be rolled out soon, the company has said.

Google has also announced new privacy adjustments for some of its other services. The changes in the API will restrict developers to gain access to a user’s data as developers will no longer receive call log and SMS permissions on Android devices and contact data won’t be available through the Android Contacts platform.

The company is also updating its privacy policy for Gmail as the changes will limit apps to gain access user data.

Any developer who needs access to users data will now have to comply with the new regulation put in place by Google; like not selling the data to third parties to target ads, etc and will also have to undergo a security assessment.

Google is said to announce its hardware portfolio at tomorrow’s Pixel event in New York and this development certainly puts Google in a spot of bother before the grand launch, where it is likely to face the scrutiny of the media and even the US as well as Europe’s data regulatory bodies.

This is a developing story...

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