×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Google Accelerates Google+ Shutdown Following New Privacy Mishap

Google will shutter its struggling social network Google+ sooner than previously announced: The company said Monday that Google+ will shut down in April of 2019. It also disclosed a new security vulnerability that briefly exposed personal data of some 52.5 million Google+ users.

The bug, which was introduced to Google+ in November, allowed developers to access personal profile information including name, birthday, gender, nickname and more even if those users had limited access to that information.

“We discovered this bug as part of our standard and ongoing testing procedures and fixed it within a week of it being introduced,” wrote Google vice president David Thacker in a blog post. “No third party compromised our systems, and we have no evidence that the app developers that inadvertently had this access for six days were aware of it or misused it in any way.”

The disclosure comes two months after Google revealed another security vulnerability affecting the social network. Back in October, the company disclosed that it had discovered and patched a bug that allowed application developers to access personal data earlier this year.

At the time, Google said that Google+ had seen “low usage and engagement,” with over 90 percent of all usage sessions lasting 5 seconds or less. This led to the decision to shutter the network, with Google first saying that it would turn off access in August of next year.

Google’s disclosures are a bit different from the issues that Facebook was facing earlier this year. Companies regularly find security flaws in their products, and there are currently no reports that anyone actually used the bugs in Google+ to steal any personal data.

Facebook on the other hand had purposefully designed its product in a way that allowed app developers to access a vast amount of data. The Trump campaign-linked data consultancy Cambridge Analytica made use of those design decisions to siphon data off the platform, which was possibly used to aid political campaigns.

Still, the latest disclosure will likely put a bigger spotlight on Google’s privacy practices. It is also poised to come up when Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies before Congress on Tuesday.

More Digital

  • Love Nature Teams with Arte, BBC,

    Love Nature Teams with Arte, BBC, Smithsonian on Natural History Series ‘Stormborn’

    Love Nature has greenlit “Stormborn,” a wildlife series about animals living in the wildlands of countries on the edge of the North Atlantic. The three-parter will bow on Love Nature’s 4K linear channel and streaming service and then play on Arte in France and Germany, BBC Scotland and Smithsonian Channel. Love Nature is the natural [...]

  • john-farrar-joins-barcroft

    Barcroft Studios Hires John Farrar as Creative Director, Ups Two Execs (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Farrar, whose credits include “The Imposter,” has joined U.K. producer and digital content specialist Barcroft Studios. The company has also upped two senior staffers, with Alex Morris elevated to chief creative officer and Caspar Norman to chief operating officer. The new recruit joins Barcroft from Nerd TV, the U.K. shingle he co-founded with Jago [...]

  • Mubi Streaming Service Launches in South

    Mubi Streaming Service Launches in South East Asia (EXCLUSIVE)

    Film specialist streaming platform, Mubi is to launch in South East Asia. The service kicks off with operation in Malaysia, and has plans to quickly scale up in another half dozen territories in the fast-developing region. Mubi will retain its highly curated approach of offering one new film title per day and retaining each for [...]

  • A trading post sports the Spotify

    Spotify Determines That It Overpaid Publishers in 2018, Requests Refund

    When calculating the new, higher rates determined by the U.S Copyright Royalty Board — which Spotify, Amazon, Google and SiriusXM/Pandora have appealed — Spotify has determined that it overpaid publishers in 2018 and would like a refund. “According to the new CRB regulations, we overpaid most publishers in 2018,” a Spotify spokeperson said. “While the [...]

  • harry potter wizards unite

    'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' Off to Slower Start Than 'Pokemon Go'

    Niantic’s new location-based augmented reality game “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is off to a solid start — but it doesn’t seem to have quite the same momentum as “Pokemon Go” did when it launched 3 years ago. That’s according to initial estimates from app analytics specialist Sensor Tower. “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” first became available [...]

  • Netflix Is Testing a Pop-out Player

    Netflix Is Testing a Pop-out Player for Desktop Viewing

    Office workers rejoice: Netflix is looking at ways to make it even easier to sneak in a little of your favorite shows while you are waiting for that email response that is holding everything up. The company is currently testing a pop-out player as part of its web interface. PSA!!!!! NETFLIX FINALLY HAS A POP-OUT [...]

  • iQIYI Launches World’s First Professional Interactive

    iQIYI Makes Strides in Interactive Video

    Chinese video streaming giant iQIYI is making strides in the interactive sector. It is launching China’s first interactive work after issuing a set of guidelines intended to standardize the creation of such content last month, the company said Friday. “His Smile” is the first such piece of interactive film and TV content to hit the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content