APIS: Google’s Over 52m Users To Be Affected Within 90 Days
By Pelumi Olaleye
In a few more weeks, Google will shut down all Google+ applications within the next 90 days due to a software update introduced in November that contained a bug ,which affected a Google+ API.
The search engine company had announced this earlier in December of 2018 to its millions of users.
The Applications that are being shut down include; Google+ REST API, Google+ Web API, Google+ Android SDK, Google+ Domains API, Google+ Pages API.
By Febuary 15, all OAuth token requests with scopes starting with “plus.” (i.e. “plus.me”, “plus.login”, “plus.profile.emails.read”, etc) will fail upon request, and may start to intermittently fail.
According to the company, there was no misuse of bug, and was fixed within a week.
“We discovered this bug as part of our standard and ongoing testing procedures and fixed it within a week of it being introduced. No third party compromised our systems, and we have no evidence that the app developers that inadvertently had this access for six days were aware of it or misused it in any way.”
The bug was confirmed to have impacted approximately 52.5 million users in connection with a Google+ API.
Though the bug did not give developers access to information such as financial data, national identification numbers, passwords, or similar data typically used for fraud or identity theft, the company has started notifying consumer users and enterprise customers that were impacted by this bug.
Apps were granted permission to view profile information that a user had added to their Google+ profile—like their name, email address, occupation, age (full list here), about a user even when set to not-public.
Apps with access to a user’s Google+ profile data also had access to the profile data that had been shared with the consenting user by another Google+ user but that was not shared publicly.
The company further mentioned that by April 2nd, Google+ account and any Google+ pages created by users will be shut down and contents will be deleted from consumer Google+ accounts. Also, photos and videos from Google+ in users Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. Only photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.
Users will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events, by February.
Google+ Community owners or moderator, may download and save their data for your Google+ Community, by March 2019, additional data will be available for download, including author, body, and photos for every community post in a public community.
The Google+ Sign-in button, will stop working in few weeks, and might be replaced by a Google Sign-in button. You’ll still be able to sign in with your Google Account wherever you see Google Sign-in buttons.
The feature, Google+ for comments on your own or other sites, will be removed from Blogger by February 4th and other sites by March 7th, and all your Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2, 2019.
Managing Director of Team Member Collaboration and Enablement, Donna Chornawka, mentioned that,
“Google+ has helped us connect ideas and employees across our company. The upcoming features that we are testing make it even easier to get information to those in other regions and functions, and to engage in conversation at all levels no matter the size of our company. We look forward to seeing these roll out.” He said.
The company emphasized on developers migrating to a more comprehensive Google Sign-in in order to protect users information.
“The Google+ Sign-in feature has been fully deprecated and will also be shut down on March 7, 2019. Developers should migrate to the more comprehensive Google Sign-in authentication system.
“We have also decided to accelerate the sunsetting of consumer Google+ from August 2019 to April 2019. While we recognize there are implications for developers, we want to ensure the protection of our users.”