Google is hurrying to shut down its troubled Google+ social-media platform.
On Monday (Dec. 10), the company revealed that a security flaw could have exposed profile information such as names, email addresses, jobs, and ages of 52.5 million Google+ users without their permission in November. The Alphabet-owned company now says it will close down the main Google+ platform by April 2019, four months earlier than planned.
The security lapse happened one month after Google announced another bug from March that put users’ information at risk. The company waited six months to tell people about that flaw. The new disclosure comes as Google CEO Sundar Pichai heads to DC on Dec. 11 to be grilled by the US House Judiciary Committee over the company’s data practices.
The latest Google+ flaw allowed third-party apps to access users’ profile information even if it wasn’t made public by the user, Google said. The information was accessible for six days before the company fixed the bug. The company said it hasn’t yet found evidence that app developers took advantage of the flaw. The issue was introduced in a software update that compromised a Google+ API.
The bug also meant that apps people willingly shared their Google+ information with were able to see the profile data of their friends, or other users who shared information with them.
All Google+ APIs will be shut down in 90 days, which is also sooner than planned, the company said.
The enterprise version of Google+, aimed at businesses and other organizations, will remain.
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