Users, shutting down social network

Google headquarters in Mountain View California.                  Stephen Shankland  CNET

Google headquarters in Mountain View California. Stephen Shankland CNET

Google said on Monday it would shut down the consumer version of its social network Google+ and tighten its data sharing policies after a "bug" potentially exposed user data that included name, email address, occupation, gender and age.

While Google says there is no clear misuse of profile data that occurred as a result of this breach, MacMillan of the Journal says it raises questions about the company's commitment to user privacy.

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

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.

Google reports that it found no evidence that any developer was aware of the bug, or that any abuse occurred.

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David Carroll, a United States professor who sued Cambridge Analytica in the United Kingdom courts to reclaim his data, told The Guardian: "Google is right to be concerned and the shutdown of Google+ shows how disposable things really are in the face of accountability".

Google said it would continue to offer private Google+-powered networks for businesses now using the software. Google launched the service in 2011 as a challenge to Facebook but noted in its blog post on Monday that Google "has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption". Google also said that there is no evidence that and Profile data was misused. The flaw exposed user data from 2015 until this past March, according to the report. According to Google, 90% of Google+ user sessions were less than 5 seconds, which is strikingly low compared to other social networks. Google is also following from its limiting of Gmail scans by limiting which applications - namely, down to email apps - can do so.

The security flaw will mean the end of Google+ for consumers, the company said. However, Google claims that this vulnerability went unnoticed and apparently no third-party was able to exploit the vulnerability to access user date.

"If you have a Google tattoo on you, then these are the phones for you", IDC analyst Ramon Llamas said of the Pixel's limited appeal so far. The bug was found by Google, an Alphabet Inc. subsidiary, during an internal audit, called Project Strobe. The incident was discovered in the same month that it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of 50 million Facebook users.

In response to this, Google+ will be shutting down for regular users.

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