Google exposed data for hundreds of thousands of users

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Google claims that they didn't tell its users because they believed that without sufficient information on who was hacked, they found it wouldn't be useful to identify the public on the matter. "None of these thresholds were met in this instance", the company said.

While Google has faced scrutiny in recent months for allowing third-party apps to access and share data from Gmail accounts, much of the privacy uproar hitting the tech industry has focused on Facebook.

There was another factor at play, though, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Google+ minus people: In a blog post published after the article ran, Google said it had found no evidence data had been abused, and that it would shut off consumer access to Google+ (a corporate version will presumably continue to run).

David Carroll, a USA 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".

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"The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google user sessions are less than five seconds", the company said.

Google's latest efforts may be a few months too late, but the company is trying its best to calm some nerves after the latest security breach disclosure. The social network, which was launched in 2011, was initially supposed to be a response to Facebook and Twitter, but it has ceased to exist outside of a handful of niche communities for years.

As many as 438 developers "may have used" the API in question, which could potentially impact up to 500,000 people, according to Google. Google executives were concerned about appearances, particularly as Facebook is under fire after an analytics firm allegedly misused the data of tens of millions of users. Ben Smith, Google's VP of Engineering, disclosed more information about the security issue, and how it was discovered.

Google will limit Android apps' ability to access SMS data, call logs, and contacts. Today, after over 7 years of existence, Google is shutting down Google+ for good-although its low user base surprisingly wasn't the main factor behind this decision. Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we made a decision to sunset the consumer version of Google+.

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