Google+ hit with another security bug, shutdown being moved up

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After confirming a couple of months ago that it would be shutting down Google+ in 2019, Google today revealed that it’s expediting that shutdown after discovering another significant bug.

Google says that around 52.5 million users were recently affected by a bug with a Google+ API. With it, apps that requested permission to view a user’s profile information were granted permission to view profile info about the user even if it was set to not-public. Also, apps with access to a user’s Google+ profile data also had access to the profile data that’d been shared with the consenting user by another Google+ user but was not shared publicly.

Google found the bug in November and fixed it within a week of it being introduced, and the company says that it has no evidence that any app developers were aware of the bug or misused it in any way. It adds that the bug did not give developers access to info like financial data, national identification numbers, passwords, or similar data.

Consumer users and enterprise customers that were affected by the bug are being notified, so pay attention to any alerts you get from Google.

As a result of this bug, Google says that it’s expediting the shutdown of Google+. It will sunset all Google+ APIs in the next 90 days, and Google will shut down Google + in April 2019. That’s four months sooner than the previous August 2019 shutdown.

Google has said that it’s shutting down the consumer version of Google+ due to  “the significant challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations”. The company has also cited low usage as a reason for its shutdown. It’s disappointing to see Google+ go because it looks nice and there are some people that enjoy using it, but the social network never seemed to gain significant traction with consumers. Now we know Google+ will be shut down sooner than expected, so if you’re a fan, you’ve only got a handful of months left to use it.

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