Another data breach is causing Google to shut down Plus sooner than expected
This is a big plus…
It has not even been two months since the enormous data breach at Google’s beleaguered social network, Plus, and now we have news about a second breach. At least this time, the news comes directly from Google, who tried to keep the original breach quiet due to regulatory worries.
According to the blog post from Google, “some users” had their data leaked due to a bug in a software update in November. “Some users” might look innocuous on the face of it, but when you’re as big as Google – any number is going to be huge. Remember when signing up for a Gmail account got you a Google+ account thrown in for good measure?
More about the “bug”
52 million people were affected by this bug in the Google+ API, which revealed profile information that the user had added – even if their profile was set to private. The bug was fixed six days after its introduction. Google has stated that the bug “did not give developers access to information such as financial data, national identification numbers, passwords, or similar data typically used for fraud or identity theft.”
So it’s bad, but not as bad as it could have been. The issue still leaked full names, genders, relationship statuses, occupations, emails, places of residence and schools attended – pretty much anything a stalker would need to track you. Google is currently saying that there’s no evidence that the developers that had access to the faulty API misused it.
We’ll see if that’s true in the weeks to come, it wouldn’t be the first time Google, or any tech company, downplayed the significance of a data leak.
Shut it down
Google has promised to shut off all of the APIs within the next 90 days and has moved the closure date for the whole service to April 2019. Previously the search giant had set an August 2019 target for the closure.
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