A software bug was discovered that gave developers access to personal profile information of over 5,00,000 users.
However, Google says that there’s no proof of developers being conscious of this bug. there is also no proof that any information has been misused.
The bug was discovered in March 2018. A report in the Wall Street Journal says Google didn’t disclose this information sooner because it feared restrictive scrutiny.
Google+ did not Live Up to Expectations
Google admits that Google+ has did not attain broad client or developer adoption since its introduction.
The company disclosed that the usage and engagement of Google+ is even lower than some might have guessed, as 90 % of user sessions lasted less than five seconds.
At just once Google put vital effort into pushing the adoption of Google+, as well as using its information to personalize search results based on what a user’s connections have +1’d.
It’s possible Google+ could have been shut down eventually, however it’s the security breach that forced Google’s hand.
More on the Security Breach
During a security audit, Google discovered the following:
- A bug in one among the Google+ people API’s meant that apps also had access to Profile fields that were shared with the user, but not marked as public.
- Data is restricted to static, optional Google+ Profile fields including name, email address, occupation, gender and age.
- The data breach doesn’t include any other data a user may have posted or connected to Google+ or any other service.
- The bug was discovered and immediately patched in early March 2018.
- The profiles of up to 5,00,000 Google+ accounts were probably affected.
- Google cannot make sure which users were specifically impacted by this bug.
- There’s no proof that any developer was aware of this bug or abusing the API.
- There’s no proof that any profile information was misused.
Google+ can shut down over a 2-month period, that is slated for completion by the 2nd April 2019
More information is available over the coming months, including ways in which users can download and migrate their data.