Google+ social media platform to be killed following revelations of privacy flaw

Joshua Bennett
October 10, 2018

Google chose not to disclose this information out of fear of regulatory pressure and bad PR, The Journal reports.

Google said the affected data was limited to static optional Google+ profile fields including names, email addresses, occupations, gender and age.

"A memo reviewed by the Journal prepared by Google's legal and policy staff and shared with senior executives warned that disclosing the incident would likely trigger "immediate regulatory interest" and invite comparisons to Facebook's leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica", the Journal says.

Google+ was heavily promoted after its 2011 launch, in the hope of overtaking Facebook in the early days of social media.

In addition to "sunsetting consumer Google+", the company is making changes to APIs on its other services, which will limit the amount of access developers get to data on Android and Gmail.

"The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds", said Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View in northern California, Xinhua reported. As for why it's being shut down, Google says that Google+ has "low usage and engagement", with 90 percent of G+ user sessions lasting less than five seconds.

Google who has now gone public with the data exposure wrote in a blog post that they found no evidence of data misuse.

It's in part because of the situation Facebook faced with the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

"Every year, we send millions of notifications to users about privacy and security bugs and issues", a spokesperson for Google said in a statement provided to CNN Business.

Google's handling of the situation is bound to make things more complicated for Pichai at a time when Facebook is taking renewed heat for another breach that may have affected at least 50 million accounts, according to computer-security experts.

Luckily though, if you want to jump ship before Google formally shuts down the social network, there's an easy way to check if you're signed up - and delete your account.

The Google Plus security blunder could still give the US Congress a reason to enforce tighter laws surrounding data collection.

A review of two weeks of data in March, the company said, showed that as many as 500,000 people may have had their information at risk to developers from 438 software applications.

Despite that, the company plans to keep Google+ operational as an enterprise product, allowing companies to use it as an internal communication platform for employees.

The announcement came in a Monday blog post that marked Google's first public description of the privacy bug.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER