5 Lakh Users Data Exposed, Google To Shut Down Google+ Within The Next Ten Months
Google announced that it is set to shut down the consumer version of its social media network, Google+ within the next ten months. Reportedly, the search engine giant announced that a bug in the software had exposed information of up to 500,000 users to external developers and that it was present in its system for over two years.
Google Plus found data breach
In a blog on October 8, the company said that they had discovered and patched the leak in March this year and had no evidence of a leak of user data. According to BBC, it said, “Our Privacy and Data Protection Office reviewed this issue, looking at the type of data involved, whether we could accurately identify the users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse, and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response. None of these thresholds was met here.”
Reportedly, Google said that the data was limited to optional profile fields that included a person’s name, email address, occupation, gender and age. However, the company added that it did not affect other information connected to Google+ or any other service like Google+ posts, messages, Google account data or phone numbers.
The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported that Google did not disclose the issue in March due to fears of regulatory scrutiny. It said that a memo prepared by the Google’s legal and policy staff and shared with senior executives warned that sharing the issue would trigger “immediate regulatory interest” and would trigger comparisons with Facebook’s data breach. However, after the announcement, Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc’s shares fell by 1.23%.
Google said that it would continue to provide Google+ powered networks for businesses who are currently using the platform. Launched in 2011, Google had been trying hard to push its social media platform to compete with giants like Facebook. After several years of speculation, Google is finally putting an end to the platform for consumers.
User data breach has become a contentious issue across the globe after allegations of the improper use of data of 87 million Facebook users came to the fore this year in March.