Google shuts down Google+ after finding a major security flaw
After a major security flaw, Google shuts down Google+. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, it exposed the data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users due to a faulty API. As for reparations, the company is shutting down Google+ permanently.
The faulty API that is being in question allowed developers to access the public data of the users who signed up to use the app that used that API. The bug in the API allowed the developers to not just access the private, non-public data of the users who signed up as well as people who they are connected with.
The data that could have been stolen includes full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile pictures, places lived, occupation and relationship status. Fortunately, there were no phone numbers, email messages, timeline posts, inbox messages or any other type of communication data. Google found up to 438 apps that have used this API and 496,951 user’s data might have been stolen.
This issue has existed since 2015 until now when Google found out about it in March this year and decided to fix it. Google then had a choice to inform its users but they chose not to tell because it wasn’t legally required to. Also, it would draw regulatory attention to them.
Google gave excuse on this and told that it found no evidence of any of the data being misused, however, they are also unsure. The company did not check up with any of the developers for the above mentioned 438 apps that used Google’s API.
Google also stated that the consumer version of Google+ had very low usage and engagement. The 90% of user sessions are less than five seconds long. They essentially trashed their own product to cover it up. Hence the company is shutting down Google+ to consumers.