On Monday, Google announced in a blog post stating its plans to shut down Google+ and put an end to the data it provides outside developers through APIs. Google will stop letting most outside developers gain access to SMS messaging data, call log data and some forms of contact data on Android phones, and Gmail will only permit a small number of developers to continue building add-ons for the email service, the company said. Google faced pressure to stop developer access to Gmail earlier this year after a Wall Street Journal examination found that developers commonly use free email apps to trap users into giving access to their inboxes without clearly stating what data they collect.

According to the Journal, Google discovered in March that due to a bug in the API, it permitted the exposure of information to developers including the profile data of their users' friends even if it was marked as non-public in Google's privacy settings. 

The bug existed since 2015 and it is uncertain whether a greater number of users may have been affected over time. Internal lawyers advised that Google wasn't legally required to disclose the problem to the public as it could have serious consequences on Google, especially in light of the then-recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

Google said that it found no evidence that any developer was aware of the bug, or abusing the API, and also no evidence that any profile data was misused. 

Previous Post Next Post