Web Stuff Google is shutting down Google+ to the public

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#1
After several years of trying to position Google+ as a social network alternative to the likes of Facebook, Google has announced that it is shutting down the service to the general public after a serious data breach has been exposed.

Google+ shutting down after data leak affecting 500,000 users

Google is catching some heat for this one because their security researchers tend to announce security issues with competing companies on strict deadlines, essentially forcing the competing companies to scramble to fix the security issues before Google announces it publicly, and now Google has been caught failing to disclose a security break that lasted several years and exposed the personal details of nearly 500,000 Google+ accounts.

As part of their public statement addressing the breach they slipped in that they'll be closing the service to "consumers". In other words, it'll still be there, in parts at least, for commercial entities but for end-users it'll be closing down.
The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers’ expectations. Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+.
The Google+ services are expected to be shut-off within a year. OK, sure, Google+ is shutting down but what about the half-million people who had their info accessed? Turns out that Google doesn't have logs going back more than just a few months so they are unable to tell who had their account info accessed and who didn't.

Google's advice? If you have a Google+ account you should assume that your data was exposed. :facepalm:
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#2
Well, that didn't take long. First a lawsuit against Google from Google+ users and then a few US States Attorney Generals are looking into it as well.

Google Sued Over Google+ Data Leak
“This case involves the absolute and intentional disregard with which defendants have chosen to treat the Personal Information of users who utilize the Google+ social media platform,” California resident Matt Matic and Florida resident Zak Harris allege in a class-action complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Both users say they use Gmail and Google+.

“While this information was supposed to be protected and shared only with expressed permissions, defendants, without authorization, exposed that information to third parties through lax and non-existent data safety and security policies and protocols," they allege.

The lawsuit includes a claim that Google violated California's consumer protection law by failing to honor a promise that it wouldn't disclose personal information without people's consent. The complaint also includes claims of negligence and invasion of privacy.
At least two U.S. attorneys general investigating Google glitch | Reuters
The investigation follows Google’s announcement on Monday that it would shut down the consumer version of its social network Google+ and tighten its data-sharing policies after a “bug” potentially exposed user data that included names, email addresses, occupations, genders and ages.

“We are aware of public reporting on this matter and are currently undertaking efforts to gain an understanding of the nature and cause of the intrusion, whether sensitive information was exposed, and what steps are being taken or called for to prevent similar intrusions in the future,” Jaclyn Severance, a spokeswoman for Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, told Reuters in an email.

The New York Attorney General’s office also said it was looking into the breach.
 
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