Due to massive data exposure, Google Plus is shutting their doors. Yes, data was exposed, but at the time of writing this, there is no evidence that it was accessed. Along with this news, tthe company has admitted that user engagement on Google + was low, which is something we already assumed. They never received the engagement they had expected. Most of the Google+ user sessions lasted for less than five seconds. Instead of putting work into making this social network more secure for their users, Google has decided to simply eliminate it.
Google discovered a bug in an API. The bug gave apps access to data that came from profiles on Google + and the problem is, that data wasn’t intended for the public. This included static data fields like occupation, name, email, age, and gender. It didn’t include information from posts. This is a bug that was patched back in March of 2018, but Google chose not to tell their users during this time. In a blog post, the company stated: “We made Google+ with privacy in mind and therefore keep this API’s log data for only two weeks. That means we cannot confirm which users were impacted by this bug.” While there was no evidence of misuse, there is no way to be certain to know whether or not misuse took place. Google has also stated that they didn’t find evidence that the 438 applications that use the API even knew about the bug.
They Will Continue as a Product
For Enterprise users, Google+ plans on moving forward as a product – this is one of the most popular uses for the social site. Instead of being a consumer product, the company has decided that it is best to be used as an internal social network for companies around the world. In the near future, Google will be announcing their products that are Enterprise-focused for Google+.
In order to give time for their users to move out of the service, Google plans on closing the consumer version over the next 10 months. Google plans on completing the process by August of 2019. In addition, Google will be giving their users more control over the data they would like to share with apps, will limit the ability of apps to receive call log, and will also limit the apps that request permission to access Gmail.