Google announces plans to close Google+ for consumers following data breach

Polycount

Posts: 2,699   +566
Staff member

No matter how much you use social media, you probably haven't used Google+ very often, if at all. Personally, until I began writing this piece, I'd completely forgotten about the platform.

Unfortunately, whether you've forgotten about it or not, if you have a Google+ account, your data may have been put at risk. According to a blog post published by Google today, the company discovered a "bug" in one of its Google+ "People APIs" that exposed some private user data to third-party developers. The exposed data includes occupations, genders, ages, and email addresses of many users.

This information was exposed regardless of a given user's privacy settings. Google claims that it "discovered and immediately patched" the bug in March 2018, but the flaw has existed since 2015.

Google says it hasn't found any evidence that developers were aware of the bug, so it's unlikely that anyone abused it. However, the fact that this vulnerability existed for long -- even if it didn't expose any particularly sensitive information -- is cause for concern.

This privacy breach, in addition to dwindling user numbers and engagement, has prompted the search giant to shutter the consumer side of Google+.

It seems Google agrees. This privacy breach, in addition to dwindling user numbers and engagement, has prompted the search giant to shutter the consumer side of Google+.

This shut down will come after a 10-month "wind-down" period, which ends next August. Enterprise users will continue to have access to the platform for the foreseeable future - Google says the social media website is better as an enterprise product, anyway.

During the next 10 months, Google will provide consumers with "additional information" regarding ways they can download or migrate their data to other social media platforms if they so desire.

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I don't mean to sound cocky, but I can't see the value of Google+ as an enterprise product. Maybe as an internal hub for a very large organization, but I would think other products would be a better fit.
 

kapital98

Posts: 334   +261
After the social media platform failed (though, tbf, was a good product), this just seemed like a useless layer.

A catchall for Google to force anyone who used one of their products to be signed up for all their products.
 
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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,606   +6,117
Now if they could just continue the trend and close Google ....... oh, too good to be true?!?!?!!!!!
 

Nero7

Posts: 498   +236
Probably most people that have an account there have it because they were forced to since a youtube account is also a google+ account.

I wonder who will be next to close down. The storm is raging.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,695   +966
So no one is going to mention the fact that this API was leaking personal info, even info marked by the user as not to be shared with third parties, for years? And Google knew, and actively chose not to disclose this?
 

tipstir

Posts: 2,854   +199
Google Plus never really taken off and those on there just push ads of stuff no one uses. I think Scammers use it more that us users.. I really don't use that service. Gmail has gone to scammers as well.