Google+, Google’s social media platform set up to rival the likes of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and to connect a number of Alphabet services together, is set to close in around 10 months’ time, at least for consumers. The news comes as a result of the firm acknowledging that the network has overseen low engagement in recent times and that around 90% of people who use the service log off after five seconds. This data is not good for Google – and with news having arisen that a data leak may also have befallen many users of the service, it seems a collective decision has been made to shut the service down for good.
It’s been recently revealed that Google+ had fallen victim to a bug which had exposed the data of up to 500,000 users – though this had occurred in March 2018, the issue was fixed, and the news has only recently broken. While some sources are reporting that the leak may not have been used to access private data, some damage has already been done. These issues appeared to be taking place around the same time as the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica saga emerging in early 2018 – adding to what has been a brutal year for anyone hoping to keep their data private online.
The bigger damage done here, it seems, appears to be Google’s delayed admission in that such a potential breach had been remedied. The Wall Street Journal obtained memos regarding the bug in question recently which led to Google officials making such an admission, but the fact that Google decided not to report at the time remains a sticking point for users and lawmakers alike. However, there may be an argument in place that Google is technically in the legal clear as the issue was related to a bug, a flaw – not a breach or a hack. In any case, this has not stopped some legal professionals and bodies from looking deeper into the case. Many are concerned that the current climate – stirred up by the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica saga – should dictate changes in the law to be made, as while Google may not have needed to report this particular bug, it may have been in the public’s best interests that they did so.
In any case, Google+ will reportedly be shutting down for everyday users within 10 months – with the service remaining open for enterprises for the foreseeable future.