After a leak in personal data last July, and seeing it’s number of users decreasing more and more, Google decided to shut down their social network Google +.
The security breach came from an app that was allowing 3rd party developers to access a user’s data without his permission. This leak was discovered last March and affected around 500k users throughout the world. Even if google insist that ‘There is no evidence that this data was misused’, it’s hard knock on the company: The main goal of the social network was to compete against Facebook (who has now 2.3 billion users) after three years of service the social network will, therefore, come to an end.
On a blog post from Google, other reasons are stated as why Google + is shutting down, on top of the data leak which will scare users more than anything, there is the website’s traffic: More than 90% of the connections lasted less than 5 seconds. The public wasn’t familiar with the social network and it was unlikely to change in the future.
‘WE DECIDED TO SUNSET’
As stated on the same blog post, ‘We decided to sunset the consumer version of Google +’, the leak and the poor traffic are therefore the two reasons for which the service is shutting down to public, because apparently other services like ‘hangouts’ and ‘Google +’ will be used within their infrastructure for communication purposes.
Google is also warning us that this data leak was rare and that they since updated their control of data, allowing users to be more aware of their data protection and make sure every consumer is allowed to control all its data. Some app through authorization may have access to our call log and text messages and the company clearly stated they don’t want that to happen anymore.
The data breach was kept under silence mostly because of the Cambridge Analytics scandal, as it was following it. We can see here a will from the company to maintain their reputation as it is, and maybe a weakness concerning all social media infrastructure nowadays: is our data really safe? According to the recent events, it is, but the safe is breakable. Stating that there is ‘no clear evidence that the data was misused’ is just a play on words, there no evidence that the data was misused, but only because now, this data is untraceable. There is no evidence it wasn’t used either. Another lesson on data protection learned the hard way.
What about you? Do you feel like your data is protected enough? Let us know what you think!