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

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Wall Street Journal report: Google exposed private data of Google+ users, refused to disclose the breach

The social network as often been mocked at a desperate attempt to compete with Facebook, and it's safe to say that consumers largely ignored it in recent years. Google plans to shut down its social network and announce new privacy measures in response to the incident, the paper said.

The announcement comes after the disclosure of a massive data leak by Google today, thanks to a bug in the Google+ API which affected up to 500,000 users. From that point forward, G+ will continue on as an enterprise product, where many companies seem to use it heavily.

One of the findings of the project team was that Google+ "has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption" and that it "has seen limited user interaction with apps". The breach happened after a software glitch in the site gave outside developers potential access to private profile data including names, email addresses, birth dates, genders, occupations and more.

The Journal reported that the Google+ breach exposed Google's "concerted efforts to avoid public scrutiny of how it handles user information" at a time when regulators are the public are trying to do more to hold tech companies to account.

Yes. Google said it discovered and patched the API bug in March 2018.

The company added that it chose to sunset the consumer version of Google+ due to the significant challenges in creating and maintaining it and its very low usage.

Google did not specify how long the software flaw existed, or why it waited to announce it.

"Going forward, consumers will get more fine-grained control over what account data they choose to share with each app", Google said.

For action 3, this is related to Gmail and is limiting what permissions apps can seek as it relates to Gmail data.

In the last two months, U.S. politicians on both sides of the aisle have stepped up their attacks on Google, with Republicans accusing it of harbouring biases against them and Democrats questioning whether the company has gotten too big and powerful.

The internet giant found the flaw in March during an extensive privacy and security review, Ben Smith, Google vice president of engineering, said in the statement. However, we ran a detailed analysis over the two weeks prior to patching the bug, and from that analysis, the Profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ accounts were potentially affected. The service will be wound down over the next 10 months, with the ultimate shut-down coming in August 2019.

Google has thus far been able to defer much of the criticism to Facebook and Twitter, but the Google+ bug may thrust it further into the spotlight.

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