Project Strobe: Google’s Attempt at keeping your Data Private
Developer’s and various APIs are used on top of or in addition to Google’s own Google+ platform to make a user’s life easier and to make the overall Google platform more effective. But, what happens when those very apps or APIs make life hell or in other words use your personal data that you explicitly told them not to use? That’s when problems start not only for you but mainly for Google. Project Strobe is Google’s initiative at reviewing its Google+ platform to see if there are apps or APIs that have access to a user’s details which are not marked as “public”.
Project strobe looks at various controls implemented by Google on its Google+ platform, areas where customers were reluctant to interact with because of concerns over data privacy issues and areas where developers seem to have almost too much access to personal data.
Results of Project Strobe:
Google+ to be Shut down for consumers:
Users on any platform want their data to be secure. Period.
Their interaction with a particular website or app is all dependant on that one premise. Through project strobe, Google has found out that consumers do not interact much with Google+ and any of its associated apps.
While Google has put in a lot of effort with Google+ the interaction or consumer usage has been less than worth it and for this reason the tech giant has decided to call it a day with its Google+ for consumers.
Project Strobe Discovered a Bug:
Talking about personal data, Project strobe found a bug in Google+ which meant that data fields concerning age, occupation and gender, besides others, were made public even when this information was marked as- not- to- share- with- public.
While Google has kept this issue under wraps, until now, they did patch the bug up back in March of this year. While project strobe did not find evidence of personal details being misused, nearly 500,000 user’s accounts were affected and Google will have to also give an account to congress over this.
Project Strobe has resulted in more access permissions:
After the review with project strobe, Google has decided that apps will have to ask for express permissions to access various fields. It will now not be a blanket permission, but you can decide how many fields or data you would like to give access to. You can give access for one thing and not the other now, if you want to.
Access will be granted for only a limited number of functions after Project Strobe:
Through the review process of Strobe, Google has identified only those functions that enhance productivity will be given access to data and that to with the user’s explicit permission. Google feels that by limiting functions that requires personal data, users will feel more secure when it comes to their data and using Google+.
Google plans on rolling out all these changes in the coming months after making a thorough review from their project strobe initiative.