google plus

Google+ Is Being Shut Down by Google – Private Data Exposure!

Google Plus has suffered a massive vulnerability recently. According to Wall Street Journal sources, this gap gave the developers access to private data of Google+ user accounts between 2015 and 2018.

To make it even worse, Google decided NOT to tell anyone about this massive incident, fearing the consequences. The data exposed contain names, emails, addresses, birth dates, profile photos, gender, places, occupation and relationship statuses. But it did not provide any data about the people’s posts, messages or G Suite content.

This bug affected over 500,000 user accounts , but the statistics can get even worse due to the fact that Google keeps the log data from this specific API only for two weeks. Nobody can tell exactly how many users have been impacted by this vulnerability. Google said:

Our Privacy and Data Protection Office reviewed this issue, looking at the type of data involved, whether we could accurately identify the users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response. None of these thresholds were met in this instance. 

The CEO, Sundar Pichai stated that he was notified about the non disclosure plan and they were afraid that they would be put together, or even instead of Facebook in the big scandal with Google Analytica.

Not so unexpected…

However, this was just the last drop in a glass full of continuously arising problems of what is now a dead social media platform.

It was expected that the quiet will prevail if this type of situation would have stroke. Google + was never the first “go to” social media platform. Competing with giants like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, there was no way they could keep on going if there were any kind of private data problems.

Think about the major Facebook vs Cambridge Analytica problem we mentioned above. People were furious about this vulnerability! Their behaviour and approach on this social media platform have decreased considerably and many of them even deleted their accounts! Read more about this matter hereFacebook struggled, and they made significant changes in better displaying the privacy policy to its users. But they had a reason to do so. This is their baby. Google has MANY OTHERS!

But could Google+ have done the same and survive?The answer is no. According to a blog post, users would stay on the platform for less than 5 seconds. To be even more specific, 90% of Google+ users do that! Therefore, there is no point for Google to spend any more time solving this matter.

The easiest solution: shut down the platform.

But wait, there is more. Google will only shut down the platform for consumers. This means that the service will be available for enterprises, which is now the most popular use of the network. Google will announce in the near future the Enterprise-focused products for Google+.

Now, before you freak out! You still have some time to make the transition out of the service to another social media platform provider. Google will allow users 10 months to get used to this major change. Additionally, Google is limiting the apps that can receive permission to access Gmail data and also the ability of apps to retrieve call logs and SMS access on Android.

It seemed expected to us that Google+ will not become the giant competitor to Facebook and it really shouldn’t! Facebook is a company based only on social media, Google…well, it’s Google! They have a tone of other services. And in the age of overwhelming GDPR newsletters, crazy data protection ideas, it was just a matter of time until the Big Google would have a glitch. It happened with Google+. Let’s hope they won’t lose our credit card info in AdWords…

Farewell, Google Plus. It’s been a nice ride.