With an estimated 500,000 accounts affected by the bug, which allowed access to non-public content include personally identifiable information such as name, email address, occupation, gender, and age, and the likely comeback from its decision not to alert the owners of said accounts, Google is officially closing Google+.
In an internal memo, Google's legal team advised against revealing the incident as it would create "immediate regulatory interest and invite comparisons to Facebook's leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica", according to the WSJ's report.
Google said it discovered a bug in Google+ that allowed developers of "up to 438 applications" to access personal information from users who had opted to keep that information private.
Google says that 90 per cent of Google+ user sessions lasted for less than five seconds.
"None of these thresholds were met here", they said.
The real concern here is that Google reportedly became aware of the security glitch several months ago but failed to disclose the issue due to "fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage".
United States stocks tumble for a second day
Asian markets were broadly lower on Thursday after Wall Street slumped on a heavy selling of technology and internet stocks. All of those factors could threaten the impressive profits Corporate America has been reporting this year.
Project Strobe will also lead to Google account holders getting more fine-grained controls over the data they share with apps, which now have overly broad access to user information, Google said.
Google says the consumer version of the Google+ will be shuttered by next August, though companies may still use a different version.
Google's latest efforts may be a few months too late, but the company is trying its best to calm some nerves after the latest security breach disclosure. Google is finally killing its bad social network Google+. The bug was found by Google, an Alphabet Inc. subsidiary, during an internal audit, called Project Strobe. Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we made a decision to sunset the consumer version of Google+. No developer exploited the vulnerability or misused data, the company's review found. It's also limiting said apps' ability to access private data outside of specific use cases.
Smith also announced in the blog post that Google will be launching more granular Google Account permissions and tightening up security permissions accessible via its APIs. According to market research company Statista, the Google platform does not feature anywhere in the top 20 list of most famous social media sites based on active users as of July 2018.
Google+ is finally shutting down on a particularly sour note.