In October, Google made an announcement that it would completely shut down Google+ in August 2019. The reason for the closure is that the company found out about a bug in Google+ which exposed the data of about 500,000 accounts. Google says it discovered this vulnerability through an internal audit.
Last week, Google issued a new announcement that they will be moving up the termination date to April after discovering another bug in the Google+ Application Program Interface (API).
The latest bug was the result of a software update released November 7 which exposed the data of 52.5 million accounts. The flaw was discovered by Google and it was corrected by November 13.
The developers of the app would have had access to users’ data for at least six days. According to Google, it doesn’t have any proof that the data was inappropriately used during that period, or that a third party misused Google+ during this time. However, now that the company is moving up the termination date of Google+ to April, it will shut down all access to the API of Google+ in 90 days’ time.
The New Bug and Information It Exposed
The new bug revealed profile data that Google+ users had not made public, for example, their email address, occupation, age and name. This is data shared privately among users that should not be accessible to someone who is not a follower on the platform.
The flaw did not reveal passwords, financial information or any other identities, but some of the data which was exposed overlays with information that was at stake through the other bug in Google+. This affected around 500,000 users. But these two exposures are different from each other.
This announcement comes as Google has toiled through a series of data management and privacy blunders. Though the response of the company to this exposure was thorough and quick, Google has had plenty of rehearsal on privacy crises this year.
Google will be sending notices to users about this change soon and will lead them on how to get any information they might want to save for their reference.
The process is available already if you want to be ahead of the shutdown. See our guide here.