Monday January 21, 2019
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New Bug Forces Alphabet to Expedite Google+ API Shutdown

Google said it was in the process of notifying any enterprise customers that were impacted by this new bug

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Google storing location data has strong potential for abuse: Experts
New bug forces Alphabet to expedite Google+ API shutdown. Pixabay

Google’s parent company Alphabet has announced to expedite the shutdown of the consumer version of its social networking platform Google+ and its APIs (application programming interfaces) after it discovered a new bug that impacted users’ data.

“With the discovery of this new bug, we have decided to expedite the shutdown of all Google+ APIs; this will occur within the next 90 days.

“In addition, we have also decided to accelerate the sunsetting of consumer Google+ from August 2019 to April 2019. While we recognise there are implications for developers, we want to ensure the protection of our users,” David Thacker, Vice President, Product Management, G. Suite, said in a statement late Monday.

In October, the Internet giant said it was shutting down the consumer version of Google+ due to low usage and a bug discovered in March 2017 that could leak the data of about half a million of its users.

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

“We’ve recently determined that some users were impacted by a software update introduced in November that contained a bug affecting a Google+ API,” said the company.

However, Google said the bug did not give developers access to information such as financial data, national identification numbers, passwords or similar data typically used for fraud or identity theft.

“No third party compromised our systems, and we have no evidence that the app developers that inadvertently had this access for six days were aware of it or misused it in any way,” it added.

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APIs allow developers to link different services together to form larger apps or services.

Google said it was in the process of notifying any enterprise customers that were impacted by this new bug. (IANS)

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Google’s Censored China Search Engine Project Triggers Protests

Several Google employees, including former Senior Scientist Jack Poulson, resigned in September, citing lack of corporate transparency in the wake of the censored search engine project

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Google’s offices in the US, UK, Canada, India, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark witnessed renewed protests by human rights groups over its plan to re-enter China through a censored search application code-named “Project Dragonfly”.

The demonstrations were organised by coalition of Chinese, Tibetan, Uighur, and human rights groups outside the tech giant’s offices. The Tibetan advocacy groups that were protesting included Free Tibet and the International Tibet Network.

“They fear that a censored search engine would lead to further oppression of the Tibetans, as filtered searches would erase terms such as ‘Tibet’ and ‘Tiananmen Square’ in line with the official narrative of the Chinese Communist Party,” the Business Insider reported late on Friday.

The same concerns apply to the Chinese citizens, including other oppressed minorities such as Uighur Muslims and Southern Mongolian people, the report added.

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

The Internet giant designed a censored version for China search engine to blacklist information about human rights, democracy, peaceful protest, and religion in accordance with strict rules on censorship in the country that are enforced by its Communist Party government.

The dispute began in August 2018 when reports surfaced that Google staffers working on “Project Dragonfly” had been using a Beijing-based website to help develop blacklists for the censored search engine, which was designed to block out broad categories of information related to democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest, according to The Intercept.

Also Read- In the Name of Kabaddi, Punjab Youth Stay Back in Canada

Several Google employees, including former Senior Scientist Jack Poulson, resigned in September, citing lack of corporate transparency in the wake of the censored search engine project.

In December, Google was forced to shut down a data analysis system that it was using to develop the search engine and the teams working on “Project Dragonfly” stopped gathering search queries from mainland China. (IANS)