Google exposed personal data of nearly 500,000 and didn't disclose it

Google exposed personal data of nearly 500,000 and didn't disclose it

Google is shutting down its Google+ social network after it covered up a gaping security hole that exposed the personal data of half a million internet users.

Despite the size of the security flaw, Google executives opted not to disclose the problem at the time because they feared trouble from regulators after the intense criticism encountered by Facebook over its privacy woes, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Facebook was dealing with the Cambridge Analytica scandal during this time and Google was afraid to be caught in a similar scandal.

The WSJ quoted an internal Google memo that said doing so would draw "immediate regulatory interest".

Additionally, Google is limiting which apps can seek permission to users' consumer Gmail data.

The firm found that this API allowed app developers to access the information of Google+ users' friends, even if that data was marked as private by the user.

Nevertheless, as a result of the security audit, the search giant has vowed to allow users to tightly control what data is made available to third-party applications that sync with Google accounts.

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Despite the social network closing down, you can still take action. Google claims that they didn't tell its users because they believed that without sufficient information on who was hacked, they found it wouldn't be useful to identify the public on the matter. Up to 496,951 users could have been affected, and up to 438 apps could have accessed the data.

Google is shutting down its failed social network and authentication system Google+. "Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we chose to sunset the consumer version of Google+", Google said in the blog announcement. Users' private messages were not affected, according to the company.

Google says that like other tech companies, it has encouraged third-party developers to "build on top of our various services".

Google says the consumer version of the Google+ will be shuttered by next August, though companies may still use a different version.

Google is at the centre of controversy this morning over a report of a massive user data breach that occurred previous year, with the result that they will be introducing finer grain controls to limit access to user data on the web and Android - and also shutdown Google+ for consumers.

Android data access is being restricted to app developers. Despite integration with the company's other, hugely successful products like Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube, Google admits usage is negligible.

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