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Google expedites execution date for Google+

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 15 January, 2019

Google expedites execution date for Google+

Google has expedited its timeline for pulling the plug on failed social network experiment Google+ after disclosing another major vulnerability that exposed the personal information of around 52.5 million users.

The company has revealed plans to shut down all Google+ APIs by early March and shut down the consumer version of the platform by April, four months ahead of schedule.

Google had initially announced in plans in October to shut down Google+ over a 10-month period, following the publication of a Wall Street Journal report revealed that the company had discovered and patched a bug in March that allowed third-party developers to access Google+ user profile data since 2015 — but decided not to make the bug public due to the then-developing Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal.

Now the company has discovered and disclosed a fresh vulnerability introduced as part of a software update from November that lasted for six days.

The vulnerability, which had the potential to impact 52.5 million people, allowed apps that requested permission to view profile information added to a Google+ profile were able to access even information that had been set to not public.

According to Google VP of Product Management for G Suite David Thacker, the company has found no indication that the developers inadvertently granted access to extended profile information were aware of or misused this power, and no third party had compromised Google systems.

But the company nevertheless made the decision to accelerate the sunsetting of Google+ in order to “ensure the protection of our users”, he said.

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