Google Plus to close after bug leaks personal information

Google headquarters in Mountain View California.                  Stephen Shankland  CNET

Google kept quiet for more than six months about its discovery of a bug that put at risk the personal data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users, the company said Monday, a delay that could spark a new round of regulatory and political scrutiny.

Now, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, and internal memo at Google warned that going public about the data leak would attract "immediate regulatory interest". Google believes that nothing nefarious was done with the information, however, and claims to have already fixed the problem.

In weighing whether to disclose the incident, the company considered "whether we could accurately identify the users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse, and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response", he said.

The Google+ data breach was discovered in March of this year during an audit of the company's APIs, conducted by a privacy task force codenamed Project Strobe.

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.

I don't need the armband to be a leader, says Pogba
They gave me confidence as well. " As a leader you can talk on the pitch but I've seen leaders who didn't necessarily talk ". And now I think I'm a little more open, I express myself a little more.

According to Smith, as many as 500,000 accounts could have been affected, and the data exposed could potentially include things such as name, occupation, or age - but not phone numbers or any other information stored on your Google account.

Google+ will be closing down in August next year, however the company said it was looking at continuing an enterprise version of the product with greater user controls. The company found no evidence the information was misused by any developers, Smith said. It launched in 2011 as a competitor to Facebook, but it quickly became clear this was one that Google was not going to win. This news comes in the wake of a previously undisclosed security flaw that exposed the data of the profile of users. "Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we chose to sunset the consumer version of Google+", Google said in the blog announcement.

Google, replying to requests for comment, defended its decision not to disclose.

In addition to shutting down Google+, Google also said that it will limit the access it gives to developers to user data on Android devices and Gmail. Also in recent weeks, Google has been strongly criticized about building a search engine that would censor information as part of a possible-entry into China.

Because of all of this, Google announced that it would be shutting down Google+ for consumers.

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