Google to Shut Down Google+ Following Data Exposure of 500,000 Users


Back in March, Google spotted a bug that exposed the personal data of 500,000 users of its social network Google+. The issue has been ongoing since 2015 until its discovery this year. According to a blog post by the company, an internal review discovered there was no evidence that profile data had been misused. During the review process of the company’s privacy policy, Google decided it will discontinue the consumer version Google+.

The vulnerability stemmed from a software malfunction in its Application Programming Interface(API) used by third-party developers to communicate with Google Services. The vulnerability would allow the third-parties access to user data such as name, age, occupation, and gender. According to a report done by the Wall Street Journal, Google did not disclose the incident out of fear of losing user confidence and regulatory bodies raining down on them.

In response to the data exposure, Google launched a review of its data sharing policy and will implement security changes in how APIs share users’ private data with third parties. During this same review process, the company decided to discontinue the consumer version of Google+ due to low usage and adoption rate. The consumer version of Google+ will be shut down by August to give its users a window to migrate their data.

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