According to the report, the glitch enabled outside developers to access the data between 2015 and March 2018 before the glitch was fixed, but Google concluded that nothing nefarious was done with the information. The technology giant opted not to disclose the problem last spring, the Journal reported, in part because of fears of attracting regulatory scrutiny.
This data is limited to static, optional Google+ Profile fields including name, email address, occupation, gender and age.
Google today has announced that they are shutting down Google+, its social network that was launched over 7 years ago as a competitor to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. It also said that it would strengthen Android app permission requirements to give users more fine-grained control over their mobile phone data, and that it would make it harder for apps to access sensitive information, like SMS messages and call records.
This sounds like a fairly easy thing to fix, but Google apparently decided its little social media site that never quite made it wasn't worth the effort. In addition, Google Account permissions dialog boxes will be split to show each requested permission, one at a time, within its own dialog box. It says it discovered the breach during a review this year of this type of third-party data access.
Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, accessed information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.
"And it raises the question: If Google hid this breach from the public, how do we know there aren't others?" "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 company said. This, combined with the community's extremely low user base-90% of Google+ sessions are under 5 seconds-were enough for Google to be done with it for good.
Google also announced in the post that it will shut down the consumer version of Google+ by August 2019, citing "the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers' expectations".
Google reveals on a support page that the Google+ app can't be deleted on some Android devices, but they can be disabled on all Android devices.