Google Plus shut down: Here’s all you need to know

Google exposed personal data of almost 500,000 and didn't disclose it

The Wall Street Journal reported that a software glitch caused Google to expose personal-profile data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users, and managers at the search-giant chose to keep the info under wraps. In the meantime, Google says users should stay tuned for more information on how to download their data from the site, should they so desire.

"None of these thresholds were met here.", she said.

The decision was made by a standing company committee, the Privacy & Data Protection Office, before being reviewed by company executives.

The post did not make direct reference to the internal document expressing worries about Google's reputation, the existence of which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The bug allowed for developers that had access to Google+'s API to access information of users that gave permission to the program. "Whenever user data may have been affected, we go beyond our legal requirements and apply several criteria focused on our users in determining whether to provide notice".

So a group of the company's executives ruled that the firm should stay quiet about the flaw, and reportedly informed Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, of their decision. Google plans to shut down its social network and announce new privacy measures in response to the incident, the paper said. No developer exploited the vulnerability or misused data, the company's review found. "Underlining this, as part of our Project Strobe audit, we discovered a bug in one of the Google+ People APIs", Google said in its announcement. The company initially closely connected Google+ with a number of other Google products, including YouTube, Hangouts and even search. According to Google, 90% of Google+ user sessions were less than 5 seconds, which is strikingly low compared to other social networks. It's also limiting said apps' ability to access private data outside of specific use cases.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The glitch meant developers could access private details about people's friends too, including things like their email addresses, birthdays, profile photos, occupations, and relationship statuses.

Play Store apps will no longer be allowed to access text message and call logs unless they are the default calling or texting app on a user's device or have an exception from Google.

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