Tuesday February 18, 2020
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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 Chrome. 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.

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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)

Next Story

Amazon-Owned “Ring” Plans To Change Privacy Settings Amidst Controversy With Facebook, Google

More recently, Ring has faced privacy concerns around its technology

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The Amazon-owned home security firm will roll out the feature for users soon. VOA

Amazon-owned home security company Ring, which has been in the middle of a controversy for sharing data with Google and Facebook, is likely to change its privacy settings.

This comes after almost two weeks of a study that showed the company was sharing user data with tech giants like Facebook, Google and other parties without their consent.

The change will let Ring users block the company from sharing most, but not all, of their data, a report in CBS News said on Friday.

A company spokesperson said people will be able to opt out of those sharing agreements “where applicable.” The spokesperson declined to clarify what “where applicable” might mean, the report added.

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Amazon-owned home security company Ring, which has been in the middle of a controversy for sharing data with Google and Facebook, is likely to change its privacy settings. Pixabay

The Amazon-owned home security firm will roll out the feature for users soon.

More recently, Ring has faced privacy concerns around its technology.

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In late January, an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) study found the company regularly shares user data with Facebook, including that of Ring users who don’t have accounts on the social media platform, CBS News added. (IANS)