Google+ stops after potential data breach, Google increases security

Oh, that’s what she’s going to cost. That is going to cost them so much. Google has flattered a lot with Google+ as it turns out. The already very good social media service of Google is going to stop for consumers, the company says in a blog. Google+ would be better suited as an enterprise product and that is how it will be maintained in the future. There will be a ten-month period during which the service will be phased out and then it will be ready for almost everyone. Most will not bomb it, because Google’s own data showed that 90 percent of all interactions with Google+ lasted less than five seconds. In other words: accidentally clicked and then pushed away or ended up via a link and then left.

Potential dataleak

Well, that would be fine in itself, but in the message Google also reports that a substantial data breach was found (and poem) in March this year. They only now come out with that. Google says that no evidence was found that anyone was aware of the leak and that no user data was captured, but it is striking that they only now tell. According to the WSJ this is because the company was afraid of reputational damage and possible consequences.

The data leak (which was possible via a Google+ API) is instantly closed and Google estimates that about half a million users might become victims of it. Again, they say right away that they can not see that one of the applications that used the specific API has also abused it, so it would not have had any effective consequences. What could potentially leak? Google says it involves profile data such as your name, email address, age, gender and job. Any other data that you posted on Google+ or that is associated with the service is not included. Whether that explanation is enough to prevent Google from being fined for not reporting a data breach on time is still to be seen, but at least we know it now.

More control over what you rate

Google also announced that it will give users more control over the permissions that other apps get to access your Google data. The first change is that if you have to give permission for access to different aspects of your data, you do not see them all in one screen at a time, but there is a separate screen for each permission, as you can see in the image . That in itself is a very good improvement because you can prevent permission being given for something that the user has not (immediately) seen and it makes people a lot more aware of what they all give permission for.

In addition, Google is also going to limit who gets permission to view certain aspects of your Google data at all. For example, Gmail data can only be viewed if the app in question also ‘directly improves e-mail functionality’ (such as email clients, CRM apps and backup services) and the rest just does not come. In addition, the apps that access that data must also submit to new rules about how that data is managed and allow ‘security assessments’ to be made by Google.

A similar rule will apply to apps that ask permission for your calling and texting information. Android will only allow that if you have set up an app as the primary communication app or in specific exception cases such as voicemail and backup apps. This prevents an app that has nothing to do with calling or chatting to get access to your data. These changes will be rolled out in the coming months, so that people who make apps can prepare for the changeover. Good thing and hopefully it will not take too long, because with these adjustments Google seems, in any case, to make the leakage of data to third parties a lot harder.

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