Google has decided to shut down Google Plus (Google+), the company’s failed social media platform. This news comes in the wake of a previously undisclosed security vulnerability that exposed the data of the profile of users.
The bug in question remained active between 2015 and 2018, and Google discovered it in March; during this period, the flaw affected more than 500,000 users.
However, Google claims to have no evidence that suggests that any external developer or app had access to the data.
In the blog post, Google said its “Privacy & Data Protection Office” decided the company was not required to report the security issue. Google looked 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 in this instance,” wrote Ben Smith, a Google vice president of engineering.
What’s more important is that Google chose to remain silent when Facebook publicly disclosed its Cambridge Analytica scandal. WSJ further implies that Google chose to do so due to the obvious fear of “immediate regulatory interest.”
Prior to Google’s official announcement, The Wall Street Journal reported that that the leaked info contained name, gender, age, occupation, email address, and more. This happened even when the user data was listed private.
The shutdown of the consumer version of the service will be completed over the next 10 months and the platform will be completely buried in August 2019. However, it’ll continue to serve the businesses.