Google is shutting down its social network Google+ four months earlier than expected due to another data leak. In October, the search giant announced Google+ consumer version shutdown because a security bug had exposed the account information of 500,000 users, including their names, email addresses and occupations. At that time, Google planned to shut down the social network by August 2019.
Now in the wake of a new security issue that affected 52.5 million users, Google on Monday announced team has decided to expedite the shut-down of all Google+ APIs within the next 90 days. It means that consumer version of Google+ will discontinue for everyone by April 2019, instead of August 2019.
Google says that it internally found the security bug which was shipped with November update, and was only active for six days (November 7 to November 13). The testing revealed that a Google+ API was not operating as intended, and while the bug has been fixed, it is still investigating in to the details of it.
“We’ve recently determined that some users were impacted by a software update introduced in November that contained a bug affecting a Google+ API. We discovered this bug as part of our standard and ongoing testing procedures and fixed it within a week of it being introduced. No third party compromised our systems, and we have no evidence that the app developers that inadvertently had this access for six days were aware of it or misused it in any way,” noted Google blog.
When the company announced Google+ shut down a WSJ report suggested that Google knew about the security issue from more than two years, but chose to not reveal anything, fearing regulatory investigation. Google wanted to push update in October saying that it’ll introduce finer controls for users to manage permissions that third-party apps and services seek from their Google account. Going forward, each individual permission will have to be explicitly approved by the user by clicking a check box against it, but apparently another issue has now led to a sooner shutdown of the social networking website.
For many years, Google had tried to make Google+ a unique product, but failed. Early last year, when Google decided to make design changes, experts were not in favor, and now eventually it will be an end to Google+ in April 2019.