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As Google+ Nears Its End, Here is How You Can Download All Your Profile Data

The shutdown of Google+ does in no way have any bearing on your Google account as a whole, or on your Gmail, Google Photos and Google Drive data.

Vishal Mathur | @vishalmathur85

Updated:February 4, 2019, 12:55 PM IST
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As Google+ Nears Its End, Here is How You Can Download All Your Profile Data
Representative Image. (Image: Reuters Pictures)
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The end of Google+ is near. Google’s attempt at making a social network to compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter never really caught the users’ fancy. But as of April 2 this year, your Google+ account will cease to exist. We are finally reaching the logical conclusion of what has been a rather long road to the end for Google+ but that really isn’t what you need to worry about. Instead, what you need to remember is that Google already knows a lot about us, and Google+ was another source of information.

If you are wondering how to download any and all data that you may have on Google+, there is a very simple method by which you can. For this, you need to head to your Gmail account, and click on your profile picture in the top right corner. If you see the text “Google+ Profile” in the pop-down, then it means your account is linked to Google+ as well. Now, click on that same text, which will take you to your Google+ page. Here, in the menu bar on the left of the screen, click on Settings. This will open a page with a lot of options. Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings page, and you will see the option “Delete your Google+ Profile”. The next page will give you some additional information on how deleting the Google+ profile may or may not impact other Google services you may be using. Here, you can confirm by ticking the checkboxes at the bottom of the page and clicking on Delete”.

The eventual shutdown of Google+ does in no way have any bearing on your Google account as a whole, or on your Gmail, Google Photos and Google Drive data, for instance.

Google had confirmed late last year that the Google+ People APIs had a bug which potentially gave third-party developers unauthorized access to some users’ personal data—between 2015 and March 2018. an internal security review called Project Strobe discovered this bug in March this year, around the same time when Facebook was facing intense scrutiny for the revelation that the data of millions of users had been compromised to Cambridge Analytica, without user consent. And that is when the process of shuttering Google+ for good started. “We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any Profile data was misused,” said Ben Smith, Google Fellow and Vice President of Engineering, in an official statement at the time of the announcement.

The Google+ bug is believed to have impacted as many as 5,00,000 user accounts. Google continues to stress that only the data from fields such as name, email address, occupation, gender and age were potentially revealed, it goes on to stress that no third-party developer actually discovered this vulnerability.
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