Google+ to shut down after Google reveals user-data leak


It seems a long time since Music Ally was writing articles about what the Google+ social network might mean for music marketing. Google stopped promoting it as a social network some time ago, although Google+ lived on. Not any more: it’s being shut down in the wake of a data leak affecting up to 500k accounts on the service. It revolved around third-party applications’ ability to access people’s own data but also that of their friends – a similar situation to Facebook’s damaging privacy controversy earlier this year.

“We discovered and immediately patched this bug in March 2018,” blogged Google’s Ben Smith yesterday – inevitably, discussion since has focused on why Google didn’t announce anything about the bug until now. And there’s worse: “We made Google+ with privacy in mind and therefore keep this API’s log data for only two weeks. That means we cannot confirm which users were impacted by this bug,” admitted Smith, before stressing that “We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any Profile data was misused”. Cue the shutdown of Google+, although its ‘sunset period’ will last until the end of next August. Google is also reforming the way it handles the way third-party apps can access people’s Google accounts.

Stuart Dredge

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