Google just announced today that it’d be discontinuing its social media platform, Google+, over the next ten months.
This shocking news comes amid Google finding out about the security vulnerability within Google+ which exposed private user data such as name, email, date of birth, gender, profile pic, address, occupation, relationship status, etc. to any 3rd party app developers.
We have all consented to the permission requests while installing apps in our smartphones. It’s the bug in Google+ which uses the user consent and lets app developers access not only the private data of the users but that of their connected friends as well. Thus, risking millions of Google+ users with identity theft. Although, Google states about no such evidence of the misuse of user data by any of the apps.
This new revelation comes within just days after the biggest social media giant, Facebook, was sued after 50 million Facebook users’ accounts got hacked and their personal information was exposed to the hackers.
According to Wall Street Journal, the bug in Google+ was active since 2015.
Google states it only discovered the security flaw in March of 2018 and which the company subsequently patched it recently.
Why Google+ is Shutting Down?
Google certainly didn’t want to be in the same negative limelight as Facebook.
From the internal company memo, “ …. us coming into the spotlight alongside or even instead of Facebook despite having stayed under the radar throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal…”
It won’t be surprising if Google is getting ready for any legal ramification from this new disclosure on the privacy breach.
For many years now, Google has been struggling to pull user interest towards Google+. For most Android users today, Google+ is just there. It’s an app that comes pre-installed in Android smartphones. And, something you forget among many other app icons.
Consequently, Google may not be losing any revenue with the demise of Google+. Rather and for now, it will be one less headache to worry about for Google. That is, if Google doesn’t find itself in yet another legal battle, and the possible hefty fine.
However, and for the most part, this new news might go under the radar for the general public. And, that is perhaps what Google is betting on right now.