Google Plus Data Breach

Google Plus (G+) To Shut Down After Massive Unreported Data Breach

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The Social Media Network of the world most popular tech company, Google is to be shut down after massive data breach. The technology company had earlier in march 2018 noticed the vulnerability in its social network platform, Google+. This allowed personal data of thousands of it user to be exposed to developers.

Earlier in March, Facebook came under global scrutiny over the purported harvesting of  its users’ data for Cambridge Analytical. It was at this same period that google discovered a vulnerability in its own social media network, but did not disclose it to avoid potential regulatory enforcement and public relations issues, a situation Facebook was already facing.

Description of the Vulnerability

The Vulnerability in Google+ has been described as a bug in the API which allows third-party app developers to access the data of the users’ who had granted permission and their friends. This is similar to the data breach that happened to Facebook earlier in march that brought Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, to the  US congress.

Effects of The Data Breach

As a result of this, Google announced that it will shut down Consumer access to Google+ and improve privacy protection for Third party Application. In an article published in their Blogpost to announce the shutdown, Google disclosed the data leak, where it estimated that up to 500,000 accounts were affected. Data accessed includes email addresses, occupation, date of birth, profile pictures and data relating to gender. Around 438 different third-party applications may have had access to private information due to the vulnerability. Apparently, Google could not affirm the exact number because it only maintains logs of API use for two weeks before discarding them.

“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” _ from the blog post Ben Smith (V.President of Engineering, )

Google share fell over 2 percent to $1134.23 after the reports and announcement of the data breach.

Prevention of Further Occurrence

Google has therefore announced a number of changes to its privacy policies. This is designed to give users more control on the amount of data they share with third-party app developers. As a result, users will now be able to have specific control over the various aspects of their google accounts that they grant to third parties. Third party apps will also be given limited access to email, SMS, contact and Phone Logs. Google has termed this “Project Strobe”

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