Google announced that it removes the consumer version of Google+ for the next 10 months. Google said that currently, 90 percent of Google+ users spend only average 5 seconds over this social networking platform which is very low user engagement.
This March, as Facebook came under worldwide scrutiny for the harvesting of personal data for Cambridge Analytica, Google itself discovered a bug in the API for Google+ had been permitting 3rd party application developers to the way in the data not just of users who had approved permission, but even of their friends.
If that sounds common, it’s a similar situation that got Mark Zuckerberg drawn in front of the US Congress. The equivalent was not lost on Google, and the company decided not to disclose the data leak, the Wall Street Journal publicized on Monday, in order to keep away from the public relations pain and probable regulatory enforcement.
Disclosure will likely consequence “in us coming into the limelight alongside or even in its place of Facebook despite was under the spotlight throughout the Cambridge Analytica issues”, Google policy and legal officials wrote in a memo accesses by the Journal. It “almost guarantees Sundar will testify facing Congress”, the memo said, addressing to the company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai. The disclosure would even invite “direct regulatory interest”.
Soon after the story was published, Google declared that it will shut down direct consumer access to Google+ and work on privacy protections for 3rd party applications.
Google unveiled the data leak with which it is said that it affected up to 500,000 accounts. Up to 438 diverse 3rd party applications may have had access to private data because of the bug, but it appears that have no way of perceptive whether they did as Google only conserves logs of API use for two weeks.
No evidence that any developer was conscious of this bug is found till date is said by Google. There is no federal law that compels Google to divulge data leaks however there are laws at a state level. In California, where Google has its headquarters are only needed to disclose a data leak if it incorporates both an individual’s name as well as their Social Security number, ID card or driver’s license number, license plate, medical data or health insurance information.
Google even announced to give users more control on the amount of data they share with 3rd party application developers. Google will further bound 3rd parties’ access to SMS, email, contacts and phone logs.
The conclusion is that the leak was added evidence that the large technology platforms require more regulatory oversight.
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