Google is still having difficulty protecting the private information on its Plus service, prodding the company to accelerate its plans to close down a network made to compete against Facebook.
A privacy flaw that accidentally exposed the names, email addresses, ages and other private information of 52.5 million Google Plus users convinced Google to close the service in April instead of August, as previously announced. The new closing date was revealed by Google and its privacy lapse in a Monday blog article.
It is the second time in two months that Google has revealed the existence of a problem that allowed unauthorized access to Google+ profiles. In October, the company acknowledged finding a solitude flaw affecting 500,000 Google+ users that it waited to disclose.
Google makes most of its money by selling ads that draw upon what the provider learns about the interests, habits, and places of people while they are using its services that are free.
Google’s privacy problems on Plus are likely to be a topic that U.S. lawmakers delve into Tuesday when company CEO Sundar Pichai is scheduled to appear before a House committee. Pichai’s appearance comes more than three months later he turned down an invitation to testify in August. Many members of Congress are currently mulling whether regulations to suppress the power of Google, Facebook and other technology businesses are needed demanding tighter controls over privacy.
Facebook has had more trouble guarding the private information that it scoops up on its own social networking service, which now has over 2.2 billion users. The most glaring breakdown emerged in March when Facebook confessed the personal information of as many as 87 million of its own users had been shared with Cambridge Analytica, a data mining company.
The urge to peer into people’s lifestyles is just one reason that Google started Plus in 2011. Plus turned which Google began to ago, although it was assumed to be a challenger to Facebook’s social media.