Google has announced it will close down its failed Google+ social network early, following revelations of another damaging data breach.
Following the damaging revelations in October this year, when half a million Google+ users data was leaked, Google has now announced it Google+ will now shut-down in April 2019, rather than the initially planned winding-up date of August 2019.
That’s because the company says 52.5 million accounts may have been exposed by an API bug, which appeared within a November 7 software update. That exposed data that had been set to private, such as the user’s email address, address, occupation, ago and more.
Related: Google Pixel 3
Google said that the bug was quickly spotted and resolved within a week, but theoretically, third-party developers could have gained undue access to that deeply personal information for six days. In a blog post on Monday, Google says it there is no evidence that app developers did access that data.
The company wrote: “We’ve recently determined that some users were impacted by a software update introduced in November that contained a bug affecting a Google+ API.
“We discovered this bug as part of our standard and ongoing testing procedures and fixed it within a week of it being introduced. No third party compromised our systems, and we have no evidence that the app developers that inadvertently had this access for six days were aware of it or misused it in any way.”
Google says that as a result of this, the company will shut down the Google+ APIs in the next 90 days, while the entire consumer-based platform will be subsetted by the end of April 2019.
David Thacker, the VP of Product Management for G Suite, added: “We have also decided to accelerate sunsetting consumer Google+, bringing it forward from August 2019 to April 2019. We want to give users ample opportunity to transition off of consumer Google+, and over the coming months, we will continue to provide users with additional information, including ways they can safely and securely download and migrate their data.”
Should Google just shut down Google+ now? Or, in other words, if a tree falls in the woods and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?