Google has already stated that its ambitious social media platform, Google+, will be shut down by August next year and the main reason behind this early wind-up is a security breach in the past that revealed its user’s profile data in Google search. Now the scheduled shutdown will now be pushed ahead by four months, citing another major security flaw.
What the internet giant headlined as ‘Expediting changes to Google+‘ seems to be a euphemistic way of accelerating the closure without inviting a lot of embarrassment. However, Google has taken clues from the previous cases of undisclosed data breaches turning into heated, worldwide debates about its user’s privacy and has, thus, taken the bold step of disclosing, “Some users were impacted by a software update which was introduced in November that contained a bug which affected a Google+ API.”
As a result of this, all consumer APIs of Google+ will be shut down over the next 90 days, the company noted in its official declaration. While the company claims that there was no recorded instance of unauthorised entry, the bug affected almost 52.5 million users.
The buggy API enabled apps which used Google+ for sign up to view “not-public” information which includes names, email IDs, occupation etc. although the tech giant has assured that financial data, password, or national identification numbers (NIN), or anything that might result in fraud were available. Furthermore, specific data of its users that are connected to affected users could have also been exposed for the time the bug existed unidentified or unfixed.
Google also noted that this bug existed for just six days before it was resolved. Therefore, despite denying the fact of the breach and leakage of more precise data from Google+, the tech giant insists that it wants to avoid any repercussion or unwanted consequences that is any way related to any misuse of users’ data, hence, the early shutdown.
And as for the enterprise Google+ users, the ones affected by this breach will be notified individually, formally because the social network will continue to be a part of G Suite bundle even after its shut down for consumers.