Google to Shut Down Google+ Over Data Privacy Concerns

Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the World Economic Forum in 2018 (Courtesy of the World Economic Forum/Flickr)

Following the discovery that a software bug exposed the private profile information of 52 million Google+ users to outside app developers, Google will be shutting down its pioneering social network Google+ four months earlier than planned.

The tech giant drew the public’s ire when it was discovered that it had failed to disclose the data breach last spring for fear of damaging its reputation.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai is slated to address Congress today, December 11, where he’ll most likely fend off questions from lawmakers regarding consumer privacy, Google’s relationship with China, regulation of the tech industry and allegations of political bias.

These scandals could impact Google’s already tumbling reputation as the company’s corporate reputation dropped from #8 in 2017 to #28 in the 2018 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study. Google will have to do more to assuage the fears of a public that is already wary of their personal information getting leaked. Our recent survey for IBM uncovered deepening consumer anxiety over data privacy and security. 85% of consumers said businesses should be doing more to actively protect their data and 75% will not buy a product from a company – no matter how great the products are – if they don’t trust the company to protect their data.