On Monday 8th October, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Google failed to disclose a data leak that affected around 500,000 Google+ users. The report also explains how the internet giant made the decision not to disclose the data leak to its users in fear of a public relations headache and potential regulatory enforcement.
You may be thinking this all sounds very familiar and you’d be right. It replicates a similar incident that landed Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in front of the US Congress earlier this year.
The data leak is a result of a bug in the API for Google+ which gave third-party app developers access to the data of not just users who had granted permission, but their friends too.
In a memo obtained by the Journal, Google policy and legal officials explained that disclosure will likely result “in us coming into the spotlight alongside or even instead of Facebook despite having stayed under the radar throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal”. Referring to the company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, the memo went on to say it “almost guarantees Sundar will testify before Congress”, and that the disclosure would also invite “immediate regulatory interest”.Why is Google shutting down Google +?
Google undertook an internal audit at the beginning of this year called ‘Project Strobe’ in an effort to review third-party developer access to Google Account and Android device data and privacy around apps’ data access. Over the years, Google has worked to give people a better understanding of how their data is used and give their users the ability to control what data they share.
The Project Strobe audit highlighted a bug in one of the Google+ People API’s that allowed third-party developers to access personal data. Google has reported that they have found no evidence of any developer being aware of this bug, abusing the API and no evidence that any profile data was misused.
Google reported in its findings that the consumer version of Google+ has a very low rate of consumer usage, and as a result have taken the decision to ‘sunset the consumer version of Google+’.Google’s Top Executives Stopped Using Google+ Up to 3 Years Ago
Following Google’s announcement to close the social network, some observers were surprised to hear that the platform still existed. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed that even Google’s top executives have neglected, what we can only assume is an ‘unloved child’, with no posts for up to 3 years by some!
Co-founder of Google
Last posted on 21st August 2015
CEO of Google
Last posted on 9th March 2016
Former CEO & Executive Chairman of Google
Last posted on 17th February 2017
Co-founder of Google
Last posted on 8th September 2017
Once you delete your Google+ profile, it will be permanently deleted, and no longer exist.
Closing your Google+ profile will not delete your account access to other Google products such as Gmail and your Google account.
Log in to the Google+ account you wish to close.
Click the drop-down menu in the top left corner of the page and select Settings.
Select Disable Google+ and click Delete Your Entire Google Profile Here.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and check the box next to Required.
Click Remove Selected Services.
That’s it. You have successfully deleted your Google+ account permanently.
To delete your Google+ account, click here.