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Google Plus Shuts Down

Google Plus Shuts Down

One of the biggest issues this year with internet giants has been related to the data breach. Be it a social media giant or a big IT company in the USA, Facebook or taxi ride-hailing app Uber, data breaches have been taking place more often than we like, and companies are facing some serious flak over it. Privacy of users has indeed become a serious issue all around the world now, with countries such as India also giving the Right to Privacy utmost importance by declaring it a fundamental right. Companies have realized today that the data of their users is very important and they must protect it.
In the background of such events, another tech giant and software development company of California, Google has shut down Google Plus, which was its social media arm. The reason? You guessed it right, data breach. But while companies such as Uber and Yahoo didn’t have to face such harsh consequences, Google is coming under harsh scrutiny, simply because they did not tackle this issue correctly.
Google Hid Details of the Breach
The company reportedly hid details about this particular data breach for many months. Just to avoid a public relations headache and some potential regulations, Google compromised the privacy of its users. If one looks at it, this case is in many ways replicating the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook case, for which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by the whole US Congress for hours. The Wall Street Journal, a leading US Daily, which broke this story also was seen quoting that this guarantees that Google CEO Sundar Pichai will also have to testify about it in front of the US Congress, another thing which completely replicates the Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook data breach case.
What Caused the Breach?
Google in a blog post revealed the details about the breach. The blog post said that the data breach happened because of a bug in the API of Google Plus, which allowed third-party applications to access the data of the users as well as their friends. In the blog post, Google also revealed that the data breach affected close to a five hundred thousand accounts and that it found no proof that this but was misused by any third party application. While Google did announce the shutting down of Google Plus, its naive attempt to defend the hiding of these details about the data breach by calling it ‘an action beyond the legal requirements’ doesn’t seem to go down well with any of its users.
According to the Californian law, Google was legally bound to announce the data breach, which it didn’t. While the law will take its own course, Google did announce certain reforms, which will now give its users more control over what they will share with their party applications. Also, this yet again sparks a debate about how much secure our data is with tech companies, be it a software development company of USA, or a mobile app development company of India.

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