Google Plus social network to shut down after major security lapse

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A software glitch in the Google+ social network exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users until it was patched in March 2018, Google said Monday in belatedly disclosing the bug.

The internal memo obtained by the Journal says that while Google has no evidence that outside developers misused, it has no way to know for sure.

Social media network Google+ will be shut down following yet another security breach after no less than its parent company revealed that at least half a million accounts appear to have been compromised.

"Smith said that despite Google's engineering teams putting in a lot of effort, "[Google+] has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps. However, Google claims that this vulnerability went unnoticed and apparently no third-party was able to exploit the vulnerability to access user date. Instead of reporting this to subscribers of the service, Google chose to just let it slide so that it wouldn't be subject to investigation by regulatory agencies.

'Our review showed that Google+ is better suited as an enterprise product where co-workers can engage in internal discussions'.

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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.

On Android, Google will limit apps ability to receive users call logs and short messaging service (SMS) data. As a result all European Union data protection authorities have jurisdiction to engage with Google on the breach.

In addition to shutting down Google+, the company is also updating its user data policy for the consumer version of Gmail.

A Google spokesperson cited "significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers" expectations" along with "very low usage' as the reasons for the move.

One of the changes that Google is making to help give users even more control over their data is more in-depth permission dialog boxes. Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we made a decision to sunset the consumer version of Google+.