Wednesday February 20, 2019
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Google Decides to Shut its Social Networking Site Google+

The Google+ vulnerability was discovered at a time that almost coincided with the notorious privacy leakage scandal of the world's largest social media network Facebook

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Google releases Chrome 71, takes aim at deceptive websites. Pixabay

Internet giant Google has said it is shutting down the consumer version of its own social networking site Google+ due to low usage and a bug discovered in March last year that could leak the data of about half a million of its users.

“The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds,” said Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View in northern California, Xinhua reported.

Google on Monday said it is going to close Google+ in the coming months seven years after it was launched as a social networking site of its own name brand.

The demise of Google+ also came as a result of a bug discovered last year but acknowledged for the first time by Google on Monday, and the flaw in one of its Google+ “People APIs” exposed some private user data to third-party developers, including such information as the occupations, genders, ages, and email addresses of many users.

“We discovered and immediately patched this bug in March 2018,” Google said, but the flaw, which has existed since 2015, could potentially affected up to 500,000 Google+ accounts.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

“Our analysis showed that up to 438 applications may have used this API,” Google said. However, “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.”

The Google+ vulnerability was discovered at a time that almost coincided with the notorious privacy leakage scandal of the world’s largest social media network Facebook, which has been widely criticized for its failure to protect its users’ private data.

Also Read- Apple Watch Series 4 Crashing, Reported Bugs

Facebook has been under heavy scrutiny about its privacy policy after a British data mining firm Cambridge Analytica was accused of illegally accessing the data of 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was summoned to a hearing in US Congress in April this year to explain the firm’s security measures and how it handled users’ privacy. (IANS)

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No Proof our Images showed Pakistan Flag For ‘Toilet Paper’, Says Tech Giant Google

Google algorithms have displayed inappropriate search results on certain topics in the past

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google on Tuesday said that it has found no evidence that its Search algorithms were showing the Pakistani flag when looked for the “best toilet paper in the world”, the “best China-made toilet paper” or just “toilet paper”.

“While we continue to investigate the matter, we have not found any evidence that Google Images was ranking the Pakistani flag in response to this particular search,” a company spokesperson told IANS.

“Many news outlets wrote about an old screenshot from a meme website that is inconsistent with our UI (user interface) and dates back to 2017, and we have not seen any independent verification that these results ever appeared as depicted,” the spokesperson added.

Earlier, media reports said a glitch on Google Search results was noticed after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack that left 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers dead.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

Screenshots of the search results went viral as memes, posts and status updates on several social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“Since these news stories published, images from those articles are now ranking for this query, as the pages contain words relevant to the search,” said the Google spokesperson.

Also Read- Scientist Who Coined the Term ‘Global Warming’ Dies at 87

Google algorithms have displayed inappropriate search results on certain topics in the past.

Earlier, searching words like “Feku”, “Pappu” and “Idiot” led users to the images of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and US President Donald Trump, respectively. (IANS)