Google reveals potential Google+ security bug first discovered in March

Google Closes Google+ Amid News of March Data Breach Bug

Google Closes Google+ Amid News of March Data Breach Bug

A report in the Wall Street Journal said the company knew about the matter in March but did not disclose it, because it did not want to expose itself to scrutiny by the regulator. The bug is said to have affected as many as 500,000 accounts, though the company says it found "no evidence" that any data was actually misused.

Google Account permissions are also getting fine-tuned, with the company giving consumers more control over what data they choose to share with each app. This is likely why an internal committee reportedly made the decision to keep the vulnerability a secret and briefed Google CEO Sundar Pichai about their plan.

The Google+ data leak bug was found as part of "Project Strobe", a root-and-branch review of what data developers could access from Google accounts, and Android devices. However, Google claims to have no evidence that suggests that any external developer or app had access to the data.

The vice president of engineering, Ben Smith, confirmed in a 'Safety and Security' blog post that the company had detected a security bug in March that impacted the profiles of close to half a million users and their information.

In the wake of the report, Google has seemingly decided that the platform's time is up and will be shutting down consumer access to the social network. As a result all European Union data protection authorities have jurisdiction to engage with Google on the breach.

Google today revealed it'd be shutting down the consumer version of Google+ in response to a previously undisclosed security flaw - and also because no one's really using it.

"The snafu threatens to give Google a black eye on privacy after public assurances that it was less susceptible to data gaffes like those that have befallen Facebook", the Journal said.

The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers' expectations. This, combined with the community's extremely low user base-90% of Google+ sessions are under 5 seconds-were enough for Google to be done with it for good.

The flaw meant some Google profile information that users had thought was private, such as a person's email address, occupation, gender or age, could have been viewed by third parties, the company said in a post on a corporate blog.