After a massive data breach that exposed users’ data of hundreds and thousands of Google+ users’, the search giant, Google is going to shut down Google+. The company didn’t disclose the leak all these days to avoid a public relations headache and potential regulatory enforcement.
“The disclosure will likely result in us coming into the spotlight alongside or even instead of Facebook despite having stayed under the radar throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal,” Google policy and legal officials wrote in a memo obtained by the Wall Street Journal.
According to Google, the data leak was caused by a vulnerability in one of the People APIs of Google+ and none of the developers were aware of this fact. This vulnerability was open since 2015, but the company discovered it on March 2018 and then fixed it.
Since the servers of Google+ do not keep API logs for more than two weeks, Google initially was not sure about the exact number of affected users. However, after a detailed analysis, the company confirmed that profiles almost 500,000 Google+ users are potentially affected. Later, Google assured its users that no data has been misused by any of the developers who had access to that data.
The consumer version of Google+ currently doesn’t have much of a usage and the 90 percent of Google+ user sessions don’t last more than five seconds. But, the company still has plans of keeping the platform alive for enterprise customers, making it a secure corporate social network.