Silence has proven not to be golden in technology giant, Google’s case as it has caused the final death of its social media network Google plus (Google+).
Following the uncovering of a security breach discovered in 2015 that Google kept mum about, Google’s internet-based social network has been struggling, with many of its users abandoning the platform. Refusing to let Google+ die, the Californian tech giant modified and updated the platform with hopes it will soldier on and rebound, but unfortunately that never happened, forcing Google to discontinue the service.
Between 2015 and March 2018, over 438 external applications would have been able to potentially access personal Google+ profile data including user names, email addresses, occupations, gender and age without authorization due to a software glitch in the site.
The security flaw is said to have exposed the private data of over 500,000 users, however, Google noted that the bug in its software which leaked information believed to be private to third parties was not serious enough for it to inform the public. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous individuals, reports that Google deliberately avoided disclosing the problem at the time to protect its reputation and avoid drawing regulatory scrutiny.
Google launched Google+ back in 2011 as a Facebook competitor but it was no match for Facebook as only 4-6 million people actively engaged, posted, and interacted on the social network, despite its 2.2 billion registered profiles. “It has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption and has seen limited user interaction with apps,” a blog post by Google’s vice president of engineering, Ben Smith stated.