11 Dec 2018
Google+ leaks over 50 million users' data, shutting early now
Google's failed social media service Google+ has suffered another data leak.
The site has exposed data of as many as 52.5 million users and is now shutting down sooner than it was supposed to.
The issue, as Google said, was triggered by a bug in one of its Application Program Interface (APIs), but has now been patched.
Here are the details.
How the data was exposed?
In a recent blog post, Google revealed that a recent software update for their systems also introduced a bug into Google+ APIs.
The vulnerability was detected during the company's internal testing in November and was found to be providing access to private profile information of users to apps and their developers.
Within a week of detection, the company was able to fix it.
What kind of information was exposed?
Google confirmed that the API bug exposed information that had been kept private on the affected profiles.
This included data like name, email address, occupation, age, and content shared by other Google+ users, but not passwords.
Google is still investigating the matter but has confirmed that no evidence shows developers misused or were even aware of the information they had access to.
Now, Google+ will shut sooner
Back in October, Google revealed a similar bug and confirmed that Google+ will shut down for good in August 2019.
But now, with the latest case, the company has expedited the process and will be shutting down the service in April itself.
Notably, it has also announced plans to shut down access to all Google+ APIs within the next 90 days.
However, the enterprise version of Google+ will continue
As Google continues to investigate the exposure, it has reiterated Google+ will continue to operate as an enterprise product for companies.
"We understand that our ability to build reliable products that protect your data drives user trust," David Thacker, Google's project management VP told its enterprise customers. "We have always taken this seriously, and we continue to invest in our privacy programs."