This past spring Google+ Social Network opted out of telling thousands of users that their private data was exposed in fear of damaging their reputation. Following the incident Alphabet Inc. announced a privacy sweeping which lead to the shutting down of Google+.
Originally Google+ Social Network was created to challenge Facebook. A software glitch made it possible for outside developers to have access to users private data all the way back to 2015. This has been related to the recent Facebook user information leak to firm Cambridge Analytica. This is widely seen as one of Googles biggest failures.
“Whenever user data may have been affected, we go beyond our legal requirements and apply several criteria focused on our users in determining whether to provide notice,” a Google spokesman said in a statement. 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. “None of these thresholds were met here.”
Through over 100 different application programming interfaces or API’s, Google makes user data available to outside developers. The allowance of these tools requires the users permission to allow this kind of access to any of their information. But once outside developers have this information there are no restraints on where or how the data is used or misued.
The changes that Google is making to future data privacy are going to help secure this information from outside developers. So for now, RIP Google+.