Google has landed in hot water after it allegedly exposed the privacy breach of hundreds of thousands of users having their accounts on Google+, the social networking website the Alphabet-owned company launched in 2011 that counts as one of its miserably unsuccessful ventures of all times. According to The Wall Street Journal that got a hold of documents pertaining to the matter, Google covered up the data leak that it discovered around the same time when Facebook was embroiled in the data privacy controversy involving Cambridge Analytica in March this year.
The personal data of over 500,000 users is reported to have been accessed by third-party developers, as per the report. However, Google says that it patched the data leak in March but chose not to disclose the expose fearing the legal proceedings likely to be carried out by regulators across the world. This happened around the time when Facebook was in the dire straits over the data misuse scandal that involved a large number of users, the data of which was harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a company that aided the presidential campaign for Donald Trump back in 2016.
Google, however, has vehemently denied that the external developers accessed the highly sensitive data other than a user’s name, email address, and other basic details visible under the profile. The WSJ report says that CEO Sundar Pichai was apprised of the breach, however, it goes on to cite Google saying that the parameters that amount to be taken into consideration as a data breach were never met after internal scrutiny of the type of data.
As a result, Google is now pulling the plug on its social network Google+ in a time less than a decade. Considering Google+ could never make a breakthrough in the realm that was already flourishing with the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Google+ even went ahead and borrow some features from Facebook but things never turned into its favour. Google will still continue to make Google+ accessible to the employees and people involved in the internal matters.
Google+ will likely cease to exist for the general public by August next year, which is a considerably long time after the fiasco the company is dealing with. However, the users who are still using Google+ or may have never cared to check they made a Google+ account and then abandoned it can delete their account. Here are the steps the users need to follow:
Step – 1 – To check if you have a Google+ account, open Gmail and click on your profile photo. If it says “Google+ Profile”, you may as well have the account you made sometime in the past and forgot.
Step – 2 – Clicking on the profile photo will take you to your Google+ profile. Now, click on Settings.
Step – 3 – Now, you will reach the Settings for your Google+ account. Click on “Account” followed by a click on “Delete your Google+ profile”.
Step – 4 – Google will now ask you if you want to keep your data or get rid of it as per your choice. Now click on the checkbox next to “Required” and proceed by clicking on “Delete”. That’s it. Your profile will now be deleted. Google will ask you the reason why you left Google+, which at this time, can be as simple as abandoning the platform for the good.