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In October, Google admitted it had failed for six months to reveal information about a bug that put at risk the data of hundreds of thousands of users. And now it seems the wind-down of Google+ is becoming equally as nettlesome as Google is now having to shut it down earlier than planned because of yet another data leak. Google also said at the time that it planned to gradually wind down the service to consumers over a 10-month period to give them a lengthy window to transition to other services. This led to the decision to shutter the network, with Google first saying that it would turn off access in August of next year.

Google fixed the bug a week after it was discovered, and the company has found no evidence that third-party apps were taking advantage of it.

Thacker also says user security is the company's top priority, more so than the inconvenience to developers: "We understand that our ability to build reliable products that protect your data drives user trust..."

For six days in November, an update to the underlying code of Google+ meant that apps seeking to access users' profile information -including their names, email addresses, occupations and ages - could view that data even if it was "set to not-public", Google said in a blog post.

Google will shutter its struggling social network Google+ sooner than previously announced: The company said Monday that Google+ will shut down in April of 2019. Apps could also access the aforementioned profile information that was shared with another user but was not shared publicly. All of the Google+ APIs will be shuttered in the next 90 days, while the site itself will close in April 2019.

While the API bug did potentially impact tens of millions of users, Google asserts that it has found no evidence of the exploit being acted upon or the data being misused. "We have always taken this seriously, and we continue to invest in our privacy programs to refine internal privacy review processes, create powerful data controls, and engage with users, researchers, and policymakers to get their feedback and improve our programs".