Following a security lapse, Google is planning to shut its consumer version of Google+ for the next 10 months or so. In between all the fuss over the Facebook data breach, Google has discovered a skeleton in its own closet – it found a bug in its Application Programming Interface (API) for Google+ that has given access to third party developers to access the data of not just users with permission but also of their 'friends'. This comes at the time when Google was planning to keep the Google+ service alive even though it has low user engagement. As revealed by the Wall Street Journal, the company had been mum about this leak for months in order to avoid potential regulatory enforcements. At least in case of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica case, Mark Zuckerberg was hauled before the US Congress.
In a blog post, Google announced that almost 500,000 accounts got affected by its breach. David Carroll of the Parsons School of Design at the New School in New York, who was the one to sue Cambridge Analytica earlier this year, rightly said: “Google is right to be concerned and the shutdown of Google+ shows how disposable things really are in the face of accountability.” With every new exposé, these Internet giants promise to do better, yet they fail to deliver. While a few policymakers thump the table and call the Internet a “Digital Wild West”, and media is complicit, society watches on with disgust. The cycle continues.