You have to admire the gall of some marketing departments.
Today, Google announced that it was shutting down the consumer version of Google Plus after a breach of 500,000 users information. SIX MONTHS AGO.
They said they shut it down because user engagement was low – I guess that means that no one was actually using it and that 90 percent of the sessions lasted less than FIVE SECONDS.
Of course, up until today, Google Plus was wonderful.
Now that they have to deal with a breach – including, likely, an investigation under GDPR (joining Facebook), from the FTC and likely from Congress, they say that it wasn’t important to them.
The good news is that the information that was breached was less sensitive – name, email, gender, occupation and age.
Still, it is hard to spin this in a positive light.
In an effort to do so, they also announced that they are implementing some new privacy controls – more granular ones – to control what developers can with your data.
They are also limiting what apps can do once you give them access to your GMail.
Oh, yeah, the reason that they didn’t tell you before now was because of fear of government regulation and being compared to Cambridge Analytica. It said that it couldn’t tell exactly which users were affected and didn’t find evidence of misuse. I am sure that all of this will sit well with regulators and Congress.
As these data platforms get bigger, it is going to be a challenge to deal with any breach.
I can’t see how hiding this for more than 6 months is going to work out well for Google, but stay tuned.
For those few users that logged into it for five seconds – you are going to have to find a new platform.