After announcing back in October that it would be shutting down Google+ in August 2019, Google now says it will move up the termination date to April 2019 after a massive exposure of user data, Wired reports.
The original shutdown plan was announced “because the company had discovered through an internal audit (and a simultaneous Wall Street Journal exposé) that a bug in Google+ had exposed 500,000 users’ data for about three years,” Wired reports, adding: “Maybe it should have pulled the plug sooner.”
Wired adds: “On Monday, Google announced that an additional bug in a Google+ API, part of a November 7 software update, exposed user data from 52.5 million accounts. Or as Google puts it, ‘some users were impacted.’ Google found the flaw, and corrected it by November 13.”
The company says it has no evidence that the data was misused during the period it was exposed, nor does it have evidence that Google+ was compromised by a third party.
In a blog post today, David Thacker, Google’s vice president of product management, wrote: “Our testing revealed that a Google+ API was not operating as intended. We fixed the bug promptly and began an investigation into the issue. We have begun the process of notifying consumer users and enterprise customers that were impacted by this bug. … We want to give users ample opportunity to transition off of consumer Google+.”