Google+ to shut down early after new bug bites 52.2 million users


The company will begin notifying affected users but insisted no financial data, passwords or national identification numbers were left vulnerable.

Two months after saying it would shutter its faltering network after a security glitch potentially exposed personal information on up to 500,000 customers, the technology behemoth is moving up the closure date. The bug was apparently only live for six days, and Google claims that developers with access to the API weren't aware of it or misused the user data, which is certainly a good thing.

Remember Google+? If not, you're far from alone - the much-criticized social network got off to a rocky start when it first launched in 2012, and though it's always retained a sizable core userbase, it has shrunk considerably.

"In addition, we have also made a decision to accelerate the sun-setting of consumer Google+ from August 2019 to April 2019".

Another day, another nail in the coffin of the now defunct consumer facing side of Google+.

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While Google assures that it believes that the developers actually didn't misuse this access since they weren't aware about it and the bug was fixed within a week, the company has still changed its initial plans. Monday's post didn't say how numerous affected users were consumers versus enterprise customers.

The latest breach allowed developers to see profile information on 52.5 million users, even if set to private, using one of Google's APIs for six days in November, the company said. "A list of impacted users in those domains is being sent to system administrators, and we will reach out again if any additional impacted users or issues are discovered", read a Google release. The personal information that was exposed was from people's Google+ profiles, including names, ages and occupations. What's more, apps with access to users' Google+ profile data had permission to access non-public profile data that other Google+ users shared with the consenting user.

Of course, this is all just for the consumer version of Google+.

Perhaps even more impactful, all Google+ APIs are scheduled to be completely shut down within the next 90 days.