Google shutting down Google

SIPA USA  PA Images               File image

SIPA USA PA Images File image

"This review crystallized what we've known for a while: that while our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps". The first move? Shut down Google+ for consumers.

A bug in Google+ exposed the personal data of almost 500,000 people and Google chose not to disclose it out of fears of regulatory pressure. The company was careful to frame the decision as only affecting the consumer version of Google+, suggesting the data-tying component of the platform will continue to live on as an enterprise feature under the same name.

According to the WSJ report, a software glitch gave outside developers potential access to private Google+ profile data between 2015 and March of this year, when internal investigators discovered the issue and addressed it.

In addition to the sunsetting of Google+, Project Strobe brings in new, more granular controls over the data Android and Gmail users share with apps. Google found no evidence of data misuse.

Along with this, Google will also force app developers to provide more detailed explanations of what it intends to do with your Google Account if it's requesting access to it.

News of the bug sent shares of Google's parent company, Alphabet, down as much as 2.2 percent to $1,142.43 on Monday afternoon.

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Action 4: We are limiting apps' ability to receive Call Log and SMS permissions on Android devices, and are no longer making contact interaction data available via the Android Contacts API. Chief Executive Sundar Pichai was briefed on the plan not to notify users after an internal committee had reached that decision, the people said. In other words, Google neglected Google+, possibly exposed profile info, and is now realizing that it should probably tighten things up a bit. The office looks at what data was taken, what affected users need to be informed, if there was any evidence of data abuse, and whether or not users could effectively respond.

Google says it will give users a 10-month period to transition out of Google+, slated for completion by the end of next August. Google was hammered again a month later, when the Associated Press revealed the company was tracking users' locations even after they'd turned off their phones' location history setting.

The news comes as Silicon Valley companies have been increasingly scrutinized for their data collection practices.

"I think Google does have a public relationship issue and this now makes their lack of openness even worse", Ivan Feinseth, an analyst at Tigress Financial Partners said.

Specifically, the issue disclosed Monday came through one of the Google+ "People" APIs, a developer tool available to third-party app developers.

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