After a security breach in Google +, Alphabet, the parent company, has decided to shut down the failed social network.
The breach entails that the data of around 5,00,000 users has been exposed to hundreds of external developers.
Through a blog, Google revealed how they came across the issue in March while reviewing the data sharing patterns of Google.
The company had kept mum about the incident keeping in mind the onslaught of criticism and legal actions that Facebook had faced after Cambridge Analytica.
Sunder Pichai, CEO of Google, had been informed about the incident but had decided to make no comments.
To justify the action, the company claims that the breach was not as harmful and sensitive as that of Cambridge Analytica as there was no evidence of misuse of information in any sense and the leak did not meet the thresholds that would require a company to disclose the event publicly.
However, the decision has received criticism anyway, as experts and general population feel that the users have the right to be informed if any of their data has been shared with the third party, or is under a compromise in any sense.
While trying to become a competitor of Facebook as a social network, the portal was launched in 2011, as Google was afraid Facebook would create a dent in its revenue.
In this attempt, the social networking website ended up being a lot similar to Facebook, and it can be seen that similarities go beyond just interface. The scope of data breach via Google+ may be limited to basic information as name, e-mail, occupation, gender, age etc. but in the wrong hands, it’s equally exposed to harm.
To rectify the incident, Alphabet, unlike Facebook, will withdraw the platform and shut it down for common masses. However, it will still be available to buyers of G Suite. Further, it has introduced more policies to make user data less accessible to developer apps.
These aren’t the only 2 social networks involved in such a privacy breach. Twitter had also admitted data leak via Cambridge Analytica itself. Data leak and surveillance have become major concerns in the global environment with the increase in usage of the internet and the users being unaware of the hidden capacity of the network to infringe on their privacy.