Out of the blue, Google has confessed to a major data leak that exposed hundreds of thousands of Google+ users’ data. The company says the leak was stopped by closing a bug back in March of this year. However, the leak appears to have occurred between 2015 and 2018, giving third-parties the ability to view your information for a matter of three years. Luckily, Google says there isn’t any evidence of foul play with the data that was exposed.
However, this news doesn’t come without consequences. As a result of this news, Google says it plans to formally shut down all consumer-facing elements of Google+ over the course of the next 10 months. The social network, which launched in 2011 as an alternative to sites like Facebook and Twitter, never gained enough traction to make it a viable social network for most people to use. Of course, it has somewhat of a fan base among early adopters, but considering just how low the overall user base of the network is, it makes sense to see the service formally shutdown altogether.
According to Google, Google+ should be totally shut down by next August.
The company made today’s discoveries of the leak thanks to its new security effort known as Project Strobe, “a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps’ data access.” Using the same tools the company would use to identify when other apps might be stealing your information, it discovered one of its own products had a major security flaw. This ultimately led to the shutdown of the bug aforementioned and, in response, the shutdown of Google+ as a whole. I guess it’s just the network’s time.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any developments into the shutdown of Google+ as they surface.