Google to accelerate closure of Google+ social network after finding new software bug | InfoWatch

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Google to accelerate closure of Google+ social network after finding new software bug

Bug exposed data of 52 million users; move comes day before Google CEO is to testify before Congress for the first time, The MarketWatch with reference to The Wall Street Journal reports.

Google said it would close the consumer version of its Google+ social network earlier than planned, after a second software glitch this year exposed the profile data of users and raised fresh concerns about the search giant’s privacy controls.

The incident, in which Google GOOGL, -0.11%   said a software bug exposed the private profile information of 52 million users to outside app developers, came the day before CEO Sundar Pichai was slated to testify before Congress for the first time. Data privacy is expected to be high on the agenda.

Pichai, an engineer who helped build some of Google’s most popular products, is a relative unknown in Washington, where the company is increasingly confronting harsh regulatory scrutiny. Google, which collects massive stores of data about internet users based on everything from their web searches to their email inboxes, has thus far largely avoided the type of criticism on data privacy that has weighed on rival Facebook Inc. FB, -0.06% 

In its announcement Monday, the Alphabet Inc. unit said it introduced the bug during a software update on Nov. 6 and fixed the issue less than a week later. Google’s investigators didn’t find any evidence developers misused data, the company said in a blog post.

The disclosure marked the second such incident this year. In October, The Wall Street Journal reported that a software glitch had exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users and that Google had opted not to disclose the issue.