Google will be shutting down its social network Google+ after announcing that data of over 500,000 users may have been compromised by being exposed to external developers by a bug that was present for more than two years in its systems.
The company said that it had discovered and patched the leak in March of this year and that there was no evidence of misuse of user data.However, in response to the breach, the company has decided to shut down the social network permanently.
Google said that the bug was found during an internal security audit known as the Project Strobe earlier in 2018 this year which examined access to user data by third-party software developers from Google accounts. The bug gave apps access to information on a person’s Google+ profile marked as”private” which includes things like email addresses, gender, age, photos, relationship statuses and places lived. 438 applications on Google Plus had access to this API.
Google said it plans to shut down Google+ by August 2018 to give people a chance to transfer their information and transition easily. Since Google+ never really took off as a social platform, many people are of the view that the time to close it had come anyway and that the bug was just the final nail in the coffin.