Even though the bug didn't end in any hackers gaining access to private user information, Google made a decision to speed up the process of shutting down Google Plus anyway. And now it seems the wind-down of Google+ is becoming equally as nettlesome as Google is now having to shut it down earlier than planned because of yet another data leak. The search giant had initially announced it would close down Google+ in August of next year, a deadline that itself had been established because the social network was the inadvertent cause of a security lapse.
Google fixed the bug a week after it was discovered, and the company has found no evidence that third-party apps were taking advantage of it.
In addition, apps with access to a user's Google+ profile data also had access to the profile data that had been shared with the consenting user by another Google+ user but that was not shared publicly. The company said it's working on notifying the 52.5 million people whose profile data was potentially exposed due to the bug.
On Monday, Google said it planned to expedite the closure from August 2019 to April.
This new data leak is quite similar to the first one: profile information such as name, email address, age, and occupation was exposed to developers, even for private profiles.
Google said that its systems had not been compromised and that there's "no evidence that app developers" were aware of the bug or "misused it in any way".
"We understand that our ability to build reliable products that protect your data drives user trust", Google says by way of concluding its blog post.
Google is expected to shut down Google+ APIs in the next 90 days, and it will now be shutting down the service itself much earlier than expected. "We continue to invest in our privacy programs to refine internal privacy review processes, create powerful data controls, and engage with users, researchers, and policymakers to get their feedback and improve our programs".