New privacy bug forces Google to shut down Google+ earlier than planned

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We have confirmed that the bug impacted approximately 52.5 million users in connection with a Google+ API. This includes the user's name, email address, occupation, age, and whatever else was entered into Google+.

"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", Monday's post said.

Google said the bug was introduced in November during a previous platform update and was live for only six days before its engineers discovered the issue.

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Still, this is just one more nail in the coffin for G+.

Google never could figure out a coherent story to tell that would spur greater usage of its flameout of a social network. Apps could also access the aforementioned profile information that was shared with another user but was not shared publicly.

Going forward, Google plans to shutter the Google+ 3rd party accessible API's in the next 90 days and eventually turn out the lights to the consumer facing portion of the platform in April 2019 instead of the August 2019 date it revealed after the first breach.

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Google said it encountered the bug as part of its "standard and ongoing testing procedures" and fixed it within a week of its discovery. However, the company said there's "no evidence" that any third party compromised Google's systems or misused the data. At the time, it said profile data from up to 500,000 users might have been exposed to partner apps by a bug that was present for more than two years.

Non-public details on about 52.5 million Google+ profiles were accessible to developers of apps requesting permission to view data the user had configured to remain private.

"With the discovery of this new bug, we have made a decision to expedite the shut-down of all Google+ APIs; this will occur within the next 90 days", Google announced. "We continue to invest in our privacy programs to refine internal privacy review processes, create powerful data controls, and engage with users, researchers, and policymakers to get their feedback and improve our programs".

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