Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Google Shuts Down Google+
Quote:According to Google’s VP of engineering Ben Smith, the company undertook a security and privacy audit earlier this year called Project Strobe. Specifically, Google started looking at its API endpoints over concern developers could abuse them. Facebook’s recent difficulties highlighted that possibility, of course. While Facebook was able to power through its security crisis because it’s so huge, Google+ was barely hanging on before Google began its investigation.

Google discovered a problem with the Google+ People API that could allow third-party developers to scrape optional profile information made available to your friends like name, email, occupation, and gender. Google says it does not see evidence that developers made use of the bug before it was patched back in March, but it can’t be 100 percent certain.

Because Google doesn’t keep API log data on G+, it can’t confirm how many users were vulnerable, but it thinks the number is north of 500,000. It’s possible you have a Google+ page with personal data on it and simply forgot about it. Google pushed its social platform very hard for several years, going so far as to integrate its comments with YouTube and make web logins part of G+. And for what? Google’s examination of G+ in the wake of the security mess forced it to confront some hard truths. For example, 90 percent of G+ sessions latest less than five seconds.

Google+ usage among consumers is so abysmal that it’s not worth the headache of revamping its security model. So, Google is shutting it down consumer access to G+. The service will wind down slowly over the next 10 months, but it plans to reformulate G+ as a business tool of some sort. The security flaw feels more like an excuse to kill a product that has underperformed for years.
Quote:What's probably more interesting to most users is that the advertising giant opted to not disclose the issue. Moreover, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was briefed on the decision to not tell anyone. The reason, as reported by WSJ, is that it wasn't reported "because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage".

Google's Privacy and Data Protection Office was where the decision was made to not notify users, and the company decided that since it doesn't know which developers have what data, there's really no action that users could take. There was also a memo, however, that said that revealing the issue would cause the company " coming into the spotlight alongside or even instead of Facebook despite having stayed under the radar throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal” and it “almost guarantees Sundar will testify before Congress.”

That's referring to Facebook's similar issues. A Cambridge Analytica researcher had created an app that took advantage of Facebook's policy at the time that provided information of the user's information as well as their friends' information.
Quote:Previously, Google planned to close down Google+ by the end of August 2019, which was an unusually long lead time for a Google product sunset. Google’s G Suite VP David Thacker reports that the company discovered another API bug in Google+. This bug was similar to the one reported in October, but it had the potential to affect many more users; 52.5 million vs. just 500,000. So, Google is going to kill G+ faster.
So, Google has essentially decided the G+ code base is such a mess that it needs to accelerate plans to shut it all down. Thus, all Google+ APIs are going away within the next 90 days. That means third-party apps won’t be able to connect to your profile, not that there are many apps with G+ support. In addition, the Google+ site for consumers will go away in April 2019, four months sooner than previously planned.

Google+ will survive in a limited fashion as part of Google’s enterprise offerings. Apparently, companies have found Google+ to be a useful communication and message board tool. G Suite administrators can choose to disable G+ if they don’t want their users on it, though.
Quote:Google didn’t have specific dates in mind in December, but now it does. The shutdown starts immediately with the end of new Google+ profiles. That should take effect in the coming days for all users. Current users will also be unable to make new communities, pages, and events.

Existing profiles will continue to work at a basic level for a few more months. The big day is April 2, 2019. That’s when consumer Google+ pages will go away. It’s unclear if Google will retain any basic profile information like the old Google Profiles that morphed into Google+.

If you want to save your Google+ data, make sure you take care of it before the April 2nd shutdown. Just head over to Google Takeout, sign in, and select all the products you want to save. There are a few bundles associated with Google+ like the G+ stream and +1s on the web. Google Photos used to be part of Google+, but all that content was migrated to the standalone service long ago. Any images you uploaded to Google are safe and sound and won’t disappear with the rest of your Google+ data.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)