Another day, another leak. Google, for the second time in two months, announced Monday that Google+ had once again exposed the personal information of millions of users. In a blogpost, the company said that a software update introduced in November contained a bug that exposed the names, email addresses, age, gender, occupation, and birthdays of 52.5 million Google+ users.
In total, the new security bug gave developers access to private information on 52.5 million users for six days in November. Google said that there is no evidence that the bug was exploited or that data was misused, and that no financial information or passwords were exposed.
The leak comes on the heels of Google’s announcement in October that Google+ would be shut down following a software bug that impacted up to 500,000 accounts. October’s disclosure of the bug, which gave apps access to non-public profile information of users friends through a Google+ People API, came more than six months after the company initially discovered it. In total, up to 438 applications had access to unauthorized user data for over three years. Google was unable to determine which accounts were affected.
On Monday, Google moved up the date for sunsetting its social network to April instead of August and announced it will be shutting down all Google+ APIs within the next 90 days. In its blog post, Google said, “We understand that our ability to build reliable products that protect your data drives user trust. We have always taken this seriously, and 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.”
Google’s latest leak comes as the company faces increased scrutiny from policymakers, journalists, and consumer advocates over its collection, storage, and use of consumer data. Meanwhile, companies, from Marriott to Quora, continue leaking data, from passports to payment details, left and right. In the last 30 days alone, data breaches have affected more than a billion people worldwide.
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