According to The Wall Street Journal, who first reported the story, Google refused to immediately disclose the bug when it was fixed back in March due to fear of regulatory scrutiny from lawmakers.
The affected data is limited to static, optional Google+ Profile fields including name, email address, occupation, gender and age, Google said. Thankfully, according to Google, no developer was aware of the bug, was misusing the Google+ API, or had misused private data from users' profiles.
The company says it didn't find any evidence that any of the affected personal information was misused.
Google is pulling the plug on its flagship social network Google+ after data from up to 500,000 users was left exposed by a bug.
The company said it will give consumers more control over what data apps can access.More news: Pogba: 'I don't need the armband to be a leader'
Google has finally given up on its aspirations to take on Facebook by shutting down its only social media platform Google Plus. Instead of reporting this to subscribers of the service, Google made a decision to just let it slide so that it wouldn't be subject to investigation by regulatory agencies. This was not a successful venture for Google, and the latest data showed that 90% of sessions on the app were lasting less than five seconds long.
The WSJ report and Google blog both agree that Google discovered the bug in spring of 2018, although the motivation for what happened afterwards differs. As a result all European Union data protection authorities have jurisdiction to engage with Google on the breach.
They said the firm would now "sunset" the app, which failed to truly challenge market leader Facebook, citing "very low usage".
Google plans to shut down its social network and announce new privacy measures in response to the incident, the paper said. By the company's reckoning, up to 438 applications may have been able to access private profile data because of the software bug.
This review crystallized what we've known for a while: that while our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption.