When & Why Is Google+ Shutting Down
Google, the world’s most popular search engine, recently revealed that its social network Google+ is closing down. In fact, the platform was scheduled to shut down in August 2019 but it will be closing far sooner than that; April 2019 to be exact. The reason behind this change is ‘another’ security bug that was identified soon after the initial announcement of its closure.
So, if you are fond of Google+, you only have a couple of months left with your favorite social network. The recently-identified security bug is said to have affected 52.5 million users worldwide by making private profile data accessible to unauthorized third-party applications.
As per Google, there was no incident of the data being accessed or misused when the problem was identified. The search engine giant was able to control the situation by fixing the vulnerability on time. It further added that there was no sensitive information like passwords or confidential bank data in the information that was leaked.
Nonetheless, this brought a massive change in Google’s plans for the year 2019. The search engine’s management has decided to close down its social network Google+ sooner than the actual scheduled time in the wake of this problem.
It was in early October in 2018 that the network received its first death blow. The company itself discovered a security bug that leaked out the data of about 500,000 users on Google+. The breached data incorporated account information like names, usernames, email addresses, and professions of the users. It was this incident that compelled Google to announce that Google+ is closing down by August 2019.
However, the scenario changed in November 2018 when the management discovered another security bug that had compromised the data of 52.5 million users using Google Plus. The profile information of these users was brought on view, regardless of the information being set to private. Hence, the closure was fast-tracked to April 2019 so that recurrence of such scenarios can be prevented.
As news of the first security bug went out, the management faced a lot of criticism in Washington and elsewhere with the general public. The Wall Street Journal stated that Google didn’t disclose the bug for months as it dreaded scrutiny and reputational damage.
The news was officially disclosed to the public in December when Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai had to appear before Congress to testify transparency and accountability.
The blog post that Google shared to disclose the news said:
“We understand that our ability to build reliable products that protect your data drives user trust. 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.”