News Roundup: Google shuts down Google+ after massive data breach

A roundup of this week’s technology news including Twitter bots, poor data protection practices, parliamentary robots and cats.

A roundup of this week's technology news including Twitter bots, poor data protection practices, parliamentary robots and cats.

Google data breach

Anyone else feel like they're suffering from a bout of déjà vu? I'm thinking of renaming this column ‘Guess which Silicon Valley giant has suffered a massive data breach this week?'

Last week it was the turn of Google, who announced the existence of an API bug for Google+ that allowed third-party app developers to access the data of users who had granted permission, and their friends that hadn't. Sound familiar? It certainly did to Facebook.

Reports claim that up to 500,000 accounts could have potentially been affected, with up to 438 different third-party applications having had access to private information thanks to the bug.

Users' full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, locations, occupation and relationship status were potentially exposed in the breach however, California law only requires companies to report data leaks if it includes both a user's name and their Social Security number, ID card or driver's license number, license plate, medical information or health insurance information.

Trying to divert attention away from the fact the company had known about this bug since March (!) but had chosen not to say anything to avoid a ‘PR headache' suffered by the likes of Facebook; Google instead told public users of its ill-fated social media platform that it will be wound down over the next 10 months. The platform will still exist for enterprise users.

To continue reading this article register now