Google+ is officially shutting down

Google+ is officially shutting down

Lindsey Duncan
October 9, 2018

However, many were quick to point out the announcement came after The Wall Street Journal reported the bug and said Google opted not to disclose it to avoid regulatory scrutiny and reputational damages. Our review showed that Google+ is better suited as an enterprise product where co-workers can engage in internal discussions on a secure corporate social network. The glitch was fixed, and Google concluded that nothing nefarious was done with the information. The major reason why Google developed this social media platform was to compete with the exponentially growing social-media platform Facebook. But the social network never gained traction among consumers. This closure is due to several factors, the most important of these being the huge privacy bug uncovered this week by the Wall Street Journal. Facebook brought the issue to the forefront in March after its Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which a UK-based digital consultancy harvested data on 87 million Facebook users without their permission.

An email shared among senior Google executives and lawyers said that revealing the issue would lead to "immediate regulatory interest" and mean its chief executive Sundar Pichai being forced to give evidence in Washington.

Google came under criticism for refusing to send a top executive to a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on 5 September about efforts to counteract foreign influence in United States elections and political discourse. Either way, the news casts a shadow over the Pixel event, and completely distracts from the other small but useful tweaks the company released today regarding privacy, in particular the fact that it is now rolling out more granular Google account permissions. Also in recent weeks, Google has been strongly criticized about building a search engine that would censor information as part of a possible-entry into China.

Google+ is widely seen as one of Google's biggest failures, the WSJ says. Google confirmed that the bug provided third parties with access to user information. 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.

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The company announced on its blog on Monday that data from up to 500,000 users may have been exposed to external developers by a bug that was present for more than two years in its systems.

In other words, Google learned about the three-year-long vulnerability and chose not to say anything out of fear that it'd be bad PR. "None of these thresholds were met in this instance", wrote Ben Smith, a Google vice president of engineering.

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