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Google says Google+ bug affected 52.5 million people

Google will shut down its Google+ social network much sooner than planned after discovering a second bug tha...

Posted: Dec. 11, 2018 5:47 AM
Updated: Dec. 11, 2018 5:47 AM

Google will shut down its Google+ social network much sooner than planned after discovering a second bug that revealed millions of customers' private information to software developers.

In a blog post, the company said 52.5 million people were affected by a bug in a November software update. The latest bug allowed app developers to access profile information not marked public. App developers inadvertently had access to this data for six days.

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Google said it detected the issue during regular testing, and fixed it within a week of discovery.

Google disclosed a similar bug in October. At the time, the company said it "discovered and immediately patched" a bug in March 2018, which potentially allowed developers to access profile data that wasn't public, including usernames, email addresses, occupations and ages. The bug reportedly affected as many as 500,000 accounts.

The company said no third parties compromised its systems, and Google hasn't found evidence developers misused the information or were aware of it.

With is second embarrassing privacy issue in two months, Google+ will shut down in April 2019. Two months ago, Google said it planned to shutter Google+ in August. Meanwhile, API access for developers will be shut down within the next 90 days.

On Monday, the company reiterated that Google+ had low usage and acknowledged there are significant challenges with "maintaining a successful product."

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