Considering that its core business is entirely based on mining users’ personal information, Google isn’t exactly a company that comes to mind when we’re talking about privacy. That said, billions of users across the world willingly hand over their data (e.g. passwords, location history, search queries) to the company on a daily basis, because they trust that while that confidential information may be used to serve them targeted advertising, it’s at least safe. Apparently, that’s not the case.
A new report by BBC has revealed that a bug in Google’s systems left the personal data of as many as 500,000 Google+ users exposed to third-party services. What’s worse is that the security issue was present for more than two years and the company knew about it, but chose to not reveal anything, fearing regulatory investigation, says The Wall Street Journal.
Following the revelation, Google has revealed that it’s finally pulling the plug on the consumer version of Google+, its social networking service that never quite took off.
In a blog post, the company revealed that Google+ for consumers would be completely shuttered over the next ten months, with the process slated to conclude in August 2019. Google also said that it’s introducing finer controls for users to manage permissions that third-party apps and services seek from their Google account. Going forward, each individual permission will have to be explicitly approved by the user by clicking a check box against it.
Watch: Google Pixel 2 XL First Look
Talking about Android, Google will be limiting apps’ ability to receive information related to call logs and text messages, and contact interaction data will no longer be available through the Android Contacts API.