Google is going to shut down the consumer version of G+ over the following months. The decision follows the discovery of an earlier undisclosed security flaw that exposed users’ profile data that was attended in March 2018.
A software bug was discovered that provided access to private profile data of more than 500k users for developers. Still, Google said that there’s no evidence of developers being aware of this bug. There’s also no evidence that any data has been abused. The bug was discovered in March 2018. A report in the Wall Street Journal states Google did not reveal this data sooner because it feared regulatory inspection.
Google + failed to live up to expectations
Google admits that G+ has been unable to reach broad user or developer adoption since its introduction. The company revealed that the engagement and usage of G+ are even lower than some might have guessed, as 90% of user sessions remained less than 5 seconds. With that said, it’s not possible that Google+ will be missed, although it’s surely worth noting that it’s shutting down. At one time Google put vital effort into promoting the adoption of G+, including using its information to personalize search results based on what a person’s contacts have +1’d. G+ may have been shut down eventually, but it’s the security breach that pushed Google’s hand.
More on the security breach
Through a security audit, Google determined the following:
- A bug in one of the G+ user APIs implied that applications additionally accosted Profile to handle that was shared with the user, however not set as public.
- Data is compelled to static, changeable G+ profile fields including name, gender, age, email address, and occupation.
- The data breach does eliminate some other data a user may have associated or presented on G+ or some other service.
- The bug was found and immediately patched in March 2018.
- Almost 500k Google+ accounts were possibly affected.
- Google can’t confirm which users were individually affected by this bug.
- There’s no evidence that any developer knew about this bug or abusing the API.
- There is no proof that any profile data was abused.
G+ will close down above 10-month time frame, which is covered for culmination before the end of this August.
More information will be available over the following months, including methods that people can download and move their information.
What do you think about G+ shutting down?
Did you use Google+ for your business? How do you feel about G+ being shut down? Tell us in the comments below.