Google shuts down Google

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No matter how much you use social media, you probably haven't used Google+ very often, if at all.

Google said today that it has made a decision to shut down the consumer version of the Google+ app.

Today Google announced a bug inside the Google+ developer platform that allowed some basic user information to be viewed without authorized access; information such as: names, email addresses, ages and current occupations. Google said it immediately fixed the security flaw and had not uncovered evidence that the information was mishandled by any of hundreds of third-party developers that may have had access to the user data.

Google has even admitted that no one actually uses Google+. The reason, as reported by WSJ, is that it wasn't reported "because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage". Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we chose to sunset the consumer version of Google+.

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Google has been moving away from Google+ for a while, with the company launching new features for its core search engine where popular individuals, like celebrities, are able to directly post updates within search results.

On the other hand, of course, Google's Project Zero team publicly skewers organizations and projects that fall short in terms of security, calling out vulnerabilities in products whether they were actively exploited or not.

Google said it had reviewed the issue, looking at the type of data involved, whether it could accurately identify the users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse, and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take.

Google is shutting down its long-shunned Plus social network for consumers, following its disclosure of a flaw discovered in March that could have exposed some personal information of up to 500,000... Even so, many users still technically have a profile that has personal information on it. Google will shut it down over the next 10 months for consumers, but keep a version built for businesses open and operating.

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Several policies Google introduced on Monday are created to curb the data accessible to developers offering mobile apps on the Google Play store or add-on apps for sending and organizing Gmail messages.

Secondly, access to the Gmail API is going to be limited to only those apps that directly enhance email functionality. (There are some exceptions-e.g., voicemail and backup apps.) Developers can find more details in the Google Play Developer Policy Center and in the Help Center.

Finally, the Android contacts API will no longer let third-party apps access interactions with contacts.

The data breach does not include any other data a user may have posted or connected to Google+ or any other service.

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