If anything is certain about news within the tech sector, it is that change comes quick, and sometimes is not sparing. The most commonly used search engine on the planet had quite a big announcement over the past week: it is slated to shut down its Google Plus service in early April. All accounts and related pages on the platform will be closed, on the platform that was once touted as the very influential company’s answer to Facebook. Just six months after the company announced that it would expedite its closure of Google Plus, the rumors will become a reality, as a security vulnerability that affected over 50 million users left damage in its wake, and doubts about the platform’s ability to protect its users festered.
The network was initially scheduled for shutdown in August 2019, but an announcement during October claimed that the vulnerability that existed for millions of users had affected the decision to render the date earlier. The major element in question last year was a bug that allowed third-party app designers the ability to access personal information on Google Plus users’ profiles without first securing their consent, which was reportedly hidden by the entity in order to avoid prying eyes from the financial regulation sector.
Unveiling of this alarming flaw came right at the same time as sworn rival Facebook was beginning to face widespread public anger over its clear disclosure that Cambridge Analytica had the ability to glean personal information regarding millions of users without the slightest of consent. Even though Facebook has always been thought of as the go-to for social networks, there was a time when scores of professionals such as real estate agents, consultants, and authors fawned over the coming of Google +. Part of the reason why was the way in which “circles” were created, carving out an existence that was a bit different than the “friends list” Facebook thrives on for functionality.
This change means that all Google + accounts and pages will soon be deleted, and anyone with photos or other content they’d like to keep in the future should download the files before the pages are permanently defunct. We can still agree on the fact that Google is the dominating force out there in the search engine landscape, and has done many great things for the climate and accessibility of internet research in general. It is a bit unfortunate that their attempt at a platform for social networking did not stay at a fully-engaging and successful stigma, but it is another sign of the constant change and evolution within the tech realm: as greatness is expected on all levels, security and data breaches are among the first to be closely scrutinized.