"The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds", said Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View in northern California, Xinhua reported.
Following this incident, the software giant has now decided that it will shut down Google+ operations for the consumers, however, it will remain as a product for enterprise users.
Internet giant Google has said it is shutting down the consumer version of its own social networking site Google+ due to low usage and a bug discovered in March past year that could leak the data of about half a million of its users. These include more granular Google Account permissions that'll appear in their own individual dialog boxes and updating the User Data Policy for the consumer Gmail API to limit the apps that can seek permission to your consumer Gmail data. Google said that the data was potentially available between 2015 and March 2018 when it was patched.
The data involved was limited to optional profile fields, including name, age, gender, occupation and email addresses, and posts, messages or telephone numbers could not be accessed, a spokesperson said. "That means we can not confirm which users were impacted by this bug". This bug could allow a user's installed apps to utilize the API and access non-public information belonging to that user's friends.
Google applications' logos are seen on a screen in a stock photo. We believe it occurred after launch as a result of the API's interaction with a subsequent Google+ code change.
The bug was discovered in March 2018.
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Google Shutting Down Google+ After Privacy Breach Affecting Up To 500,000 Users
We've chose to focus on our enterprise efforts and will be launching new features purpose-built for businesses. Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly knew about the plan to forego notification.
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The Wall Street Journal reported that Google executives opted against notifying users earlier because of concerns it would catch the attention of regulators and draw comparisons to a data privacy scandal at Facebook.
For Google, a data privacy reckoning may finally come as a result of a service that it admits nearly no one uses much anymore.
According to The Australian, the Office will be seeking to find out the depth of the breach and how numerous 496,951 users affected by the breach were Australian.
"Every year, we send millions of notifications to users about privacy and security bugs and issues".
But in a blog post today, Ben Smith, Google Fellow and Vice President of Engineering, said the bug allowed third-party apps to also gain access to users' data that was marked private, not just the public data the apps would have normally been allowed to see.