In the wake of reports that Google+ exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users to the world, the search giant has unceremoniously shuttered the social media network, ending access for the general public.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Google+ exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users to third party developers between 2015 and 2018 and that, while there is no evidence this data was abused, there is also no way to know for sure that it was not. And fair bit of data was exposed, including names, emails, birth dates, relationships statuses, places lived, job information, and more. Google’s blog post confirming the issuesays as many as 500,000 people may have been affected.
Launched in 2011, Google+ was the last of many of the company’s mostly doomed forays into social media which resulted in an anemic userbase despite the massive built-in audience of Google account holders. Now, Google+ is finally winding down, with a 10-month pathway to complete shutdown in order to allow what few users are left to transition to a new service or extract their data before the network is fully transitioned into an enterprise product.
Maybe Facebook should follow suit.
Originally posted on Popular Mechanics