Google+ to shut down after breach involving 500,000 users

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It said it had no evidence that any third-party developer was aware of the bug or had misused profile data.

The information exposed in the Google+ data breach included full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation, and relationship status.

Google has quietly announced that up to 500,000 Google+ accounts may have been compromised thanks to a bug in one of its programming tools that the company first discovered seven months ago.

Google's Privacy and Data Protection Office was where the decision was made to not notify users, and the company decided that since it doesn't know which developers have what data, there's really no action that users could take. "It does not include any other data you may have posted or connected to Google+ or any other service, like Google+ posts, messages, Google account data, phone numbers or G Suite content", claimed Google.

Google will be shutting down Google+ for consumers as part of a data privacy measure announced on Monday.

Google who has now gone public with the data exposure wrote in a blog post that they found no evidence of data misuse. Third-party SMS apps will still be allowed, but they can only access this data if the user sets the app as their default for text messaging.

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Earlier, the company had been reluctant to share data on how often Google+ was used, but now, facing the fall out of exposed data, the firm appears keen to play down its importance.

The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers' expectations.

Besides low usage, Google+ engagement rates are also defeating, with 90-percent of all sessions lasting for under five seconds, according to Alphabet's subsidiary. "None of these thresholds were met in this instance".

This shut down will come after a 10-month "wind-down" period, which ends next August.

Google said it would continue to offer private Google+-powered networks for businesses now using the software. The company says that it also will cut back on the amount of data belonging to Android and Gmail users that is available to outside developers.