Google+ bug exposes data of 52.5 million users

Google will axe its failed social network sooner than expected after another huge data leak

Jake Stones
11 Dec 2018
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Google has detected a new bug in Google+, its failed social media platform, which is believed to be responsible for exposing the data of 52.5 million people.

In October Google announced that Google+ had suffered at the hands of a bug that exposed 500,000 people’s data. However, following a software update in November, the social network has suffered yet another huge data breach. It’s believed the figure for this new breach is close to 52.5 million users. As a result, the firm is shuttering Google+ this coming April.

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The new bug, which came about following a software update back in November, allowed app developers to gain access to user information. This information was available regardless of whether a user opted for it to be private and included things such as occupation, date of birth and email address.

Google insists that the available data didn’t include banking information or anything that could be used for fraud.

The bug was discovered quickly and had been fixed after six days of the software update. Despite this, Google believes there’s no evidence of data misuse from app developers. It’s also suggested that most app developers might not have been aware of the bug in the first place.

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Following this latest discovery, Google will accelerate the sunsetting of Google+, bringing the date forward to April rather than August 2019. Google+ API’s will be shut down within the next 90 days. Google admits that these decisions are to ensure the protection of its users.

Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Google+ was never a huge success. The tech giant admits that it’s failed to gain the popularity they’d desired, stating an incredible 90% of users spend just 5 seconds online. Although the site is unlikely to be missed, I’m sure 52.5 million people would rather their data hadn’t been exposed.

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