GOOGLE'S PET DUMPSTER FIRE Google+ is to be shut down earlier than planned after another security flaw was found under the hood.
Google+ was launched in a flurry of ambivalence in 2011 before settling down to become one of Google's social networks that it has attempted.
After announcing that the service would be shut down next summer after a major flaw was found, the date has been brought forward after internal testing found a second bug that inadvertently exposed the names, email addresses, ages and other personal information of 52.5 million Google+ users.
David Thacker, VP of Product Management for G Suite, said in a blog post: "With the discovery of this new bug, we have decided to expedite the shut-down of all Google+ APIs; this will occur within the next 90 days. In addition, we have also decided to accelerate the sunsetting of consumer Google+ from August 2019 to April 2019."
Regarding the problems this could cause, he adds: "While we recognize there are implications for developers, we want to ensure the protection of our users."
Loyal users have expressed their unhappiness at the closure already, mounting a petition against the decision.
Although the bug was found internally, the fact that two such significant incidents have been found in a part of the Google empire that it just wasn't that in to anyway, has led the company to err on the side of caution.
If it had been exploited, personal details such as real names, email addresses, demographics and employment would have been available, even if such info had been marked as private.
The closure of Google+ marks another retreat from the world of social media for the company, littered with the ghosts of Google Buzz, Google Wave and Orkut.
Google+ will continue as part of G Suite, offering closed user groups for organisations, much in the style of platforms like Facebook Workplace.
The decision to make the announcement on its blog reflects Google's understanding that if they'd posted it on Google+, nobody would read it. μ
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