Google’s failed Facebook challenger, Google+, has been closed to the public after a security bug left user data open to hackers; but Google will revamp the service for businesses.
Google says around 500,000 users were affected by the bug, while a report from The Wall Street Journal claims the company knew about the bug in March, but chose not to inform the public.
Google says the breach was not serious enough to inform its users, and that none of the none of the data requisites had been met. However, the WSJ report says Google was concerned over a scandal to rival Facebook’s involvement with Cambridge Analytica.
In a blog post, Google writes:
“We discovered and immediately patched this bug in March 2018. We believe it occurred after launch as a result of the API’s interaction with a subsequent Google+ code change. We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any Profile data was misused.”
The task of shutting down Google+ will take 10 months and is scheduled to be complete in August 2019. Google will start letting users know how to download their data soon. However, it will keep the enterprise side of Google+ active for businesses, and will launch new features around this soon.