One more security bug forces Google to shut down earlier than expected

19/06/2024 20mins
Anish Prakash


It was in October last year that the internet giant Google announced its decision for the sunsetting of the Google+ consumer version.

Apparently, a security bug was identified that exposed the account information, such as the names, email address, gender, occupation, and age, of up to 500,000 of its users. Their analysis also showed that about 438 applications may have used the API. Google had informed the public of their plan for the social network’s shut down by August 2019.

However, in the light of another security flaw recently identified, which had potentially affected 52.5 million profiles, Google has announced that the Google+ shut down will happen earlier than expected. The company has now decided to expedite the shut down within the next 90 days. That said, instead of August 2019, Google+ APIs will cease activity by April 2019.

What Transpired with Google’s Latest Security Breach

Google has designed their flagship social networking platform with privacy and data security in mind. According to Google, their internal developers have uncovered a security bug on a software update that they launched on November. The update was active for only six days, from the 7th to the 13th of November. After doing their routine standard test, it was found out that a Google+ API was not working as its intended. The bug has since been fixed, but the investigation about the details of what had happened is still underway.

Google has noted on its blog, that they were able to determine that a number of their users were affected by a flaw in a software update they introduced in November. The bug affecting a Google+ API was discovered while they were conducting their standard testing procedures. Just within a week after the software update was introduced, the Google team was able to correct the issue.

Furthermore, Google asserted on their blog that there was no third party compromised by their systems. There was also no evidence found that the developers of the app were aware of the bug. And, nor do they intend to abuse the API and misuse any Profile data in any way.

With Google’s announcement to close Google+, it was suggested by a WSJ report that Google knew all along about the security flaw. But fearing regulatory investigation, the company chose not to disclose anything to the public. In October, Google rallied for an update in the social network which will introduce enhanced control feature to the users. The aim of these controls is for users to manage permissions that third-party applications and services require from users’ Google+ profile. Moving forward the users will have to explicitly approve each of the permission by clicking a check back against it. Unfortunately, another security breach has resurfaced leading to the social networking platform’s ultimate ending.

Despite Google’s efforts to make Google+ a unique product, the social network has failed to live up to its reputation. When Google wanted to make changes in the Google+ design early last year, though several experts were against it. Now, Google+ will have to bring down the curtain on April 2019.


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