Google+ to shut down early after leak exposes 52m users

Google+ to shut down early after leak exposes 52m users

We have confirmed that the bug impacted approximately 52.5 million users in connection with a Google+ API. The vulnerability possibly exposed profile information like names, email addresses, occupations, and ages to developers.

The second data leak occurred as part of an update to the platform.

Google previously announced its plans to shut down the consumer version of the Google+ social network after the company found another API bug in October that exposed the private profile details of over 500,000 users.

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Google never could figure out a coherent story to tell that would spur greater usage of its flameout of a social network. During the time the bug was active, developers of apps that requested permission to view profile information that a user had added to their Google+ profile received permission to view profile information about that user even when the details were set to not-public.

Google discovered the privacy-invading glitch following its routine testing procedures.

Following the discovery of this new API bug, Google has also made a decision to move the shutdown date for the consumer version of Google+ from August 2019 to April 2019.

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"With the discovery of this new bug, we have chose to expedite the shutdown of all Google+ APIs [application programming interfaces]; this will occur within the next 90 days", wrote David Thacker, head of product management for G Suite, Google's range of apps offered to businesses.

Just as with the original bug that brought the site down, Thacker says the company has no evidence third-party developers misused the bug or were aware it existed. Google said it delayed the release of the information because it was initially uncertain about which users were affected or that the data had been misused.

In a new blog post, Google said it will shutter the platform within the next 90 days after discovering a second bug briefly allowed app developers to view the personal data of about 52.5 million users. "We have always taken this seriously, and we continue to invest in our privacy programs to refine internal privacy review processes, create powerful data controls, and engage with users, researchers, and policymakers to get their feedback and improve our programs".

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