Google is soon going to shut down the consumer version of its social network, popularly known
as Google+. This announcement came after a revelation of data leak of 500,000 users. Google
clarified that leak has happened due to a bug which was present in the system for more than
two years. This bug was responsible to expose the data to external developers. The bug in
Google+’s APIs responsible for that leak had given access to data associated with Google+ profile
which was not meant to be public. It comprised some static data fields such as name, age,
gender, email, and occupation.
Google revealed this information through the blog in which they have also mentioned that they
had discovered and patched the leak in March this year and ensured no misuse of data or
anyone may have exploited that vulnerability. In this blog, Google also has presented the reason
of delaying the revelation quoting the estimation of the depth of penetration of that data leak.
They have claimed that they did not know the scale of data leak and chosen to stay silent for a
while before making any major announcement regarding that data leak.
The reports of the popular news portal Wall Street Journal revealed that Google chose to not
disclose the issue with its Application Program Interfaces (API), as they feared regulatory
scrutiny and political interference.
After that report, the shares of parent company Alphabet Inc valued down by 1.5% at USD
1150.75 which reflects the response of the general public after Google’s ignorance of privacy
issues. Coincidentally, Google had discovered the Google+ security bug in the same month when
another giant of Silicon Valley, that is, Facebook was under massive scrutiny due to allowing
Cambridge Analytica to collect data on 87 million users. This incident led Mark Zuckerberg to
testify on Capitol Hill in the month of April.