09 October, 2018
The data being stolen includes full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship status. Also, Smith is adamant Project Strobe found "no evidence" this bug was abused or even that the developers using the API were aware it existed.
According to the newspaper, the glitch enabled outside developers to access the data between 2015 and March 2018.
This shut down will come after a 10-month "wind-down" period, which ends next August. In fact, 90%of Google+ user sessions only last less than five seconds. We've made a decision to focus on our enterprise efforts and will be launching new features purpose-built for businesses. Our review showed that Google+ is better suited as an enterprise product where co-workers can engage in internal discussions on a secure corporate social network.
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.
Google said that a detailed analysis ran over two weeks prior to patching the bug revealed "the Profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ accounts" may have been potentially affected.
The memo viewed by the Journal said that disclosing the incident publicly would possibly trigger "immediate regulatory interest" and do damage to the company's reputation.
Senate votes on confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh
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The Journal reported that the Google+ breach exposed Google's "concerted efforts to avoid public scrutiny of how it handles user information" at a time when regulators are the public are trying to do more to hold tech companies to account.
Google will roll out stricter rules for third-party apps that want to access users' Gmail inboxes.
"We have many enterprise customers who are finding great value in using Google+ within their companies", the internet firm said.
More information will be available over the coming months, including ways that users can download and migrate their data.
As part of the announcement, Google also promised to give users "more fine-grained control over what account data they choose to share with each app".
Given the potential for abuse, and the fact that nearly no one is using Google+, Alphabet opted to take the path of least resistance and yank the doddering network off life support.
Apps requesting user data in SMS "only an app that you've selected as your default app for making calls or text messages will be able to make these requests".