According to a report from Wall Street Journal, Google found a software glitch in their social network Google +, that allowed the third-party developers to obtain and access private data for over 500,000 profiles since 2015. The data obtained include “full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship status.”
That is a lot of personal data that got into the hands of people who weren’t supposed to have this and what makes it worse that Google found about this glitch in Spring of 2018 but they decided not to tell anyone about this issue.
Google said in a memo that it kept this security breach private as to avoid any public and regulatory scrutiny. According to the report from the Journal, Google told them that:
“We considered 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, (and) none of these thresholds were met here.”
However, now, Google is taking a huge step and doing something about this issue once in for all. In a blog post, Google announced that it is soon shutting down Google + for consumers due to “significant challenges” faced by the company in order to main the social network. The blog post also states that users who are using the Enterprise edition will not be affected by this.
This step is taken by mainly two reasons one being that Google+ has not much of audience and Google admitted about Google + that ” The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.”
Another reason being the fact that Google had unknowingly allows third-party developers access to both public and private data for certain profile.
According to Google, they “found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and they found no evidence that any Profile data was misused.”
[Source: Wall Street Journal]