Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google division will now expedite the procedure needed to shut down the consumer version of its social network Google+.
The company now plans to shut its social media service in April, four months ahead of schedule. The reason behind the same is the bitter truth that Google has identified a second significant security breach this year.
This security flaw could have exposed profile information such as names, email addresses, jobs and age, risking the personal information of approximately 52.5 million Google+ users.
This reveals the fact that the series of data breaches at major U.S. companies over the past few years has not seen its end yet. As a result, some U.S. lawmakers have called for new privacy rules to better control large technology companies like Google and Facebook Inc. (FB - Free Report) , among others.
The Back Story
The second security lapse occurred just a month after Google had announced a data breach, wherein personal information of at least 500,000 users had been exposed to hundreds of external developers. The company had then concluded to shut down Google+ in August 2019.
The new disclosure comes just a day before Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, was to be questioned before the House Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Congress about Google's data collection practices.
Reportedly, all Google+ APIs will be shut down in 90 days. However, the enterprise version of Google+, aimed at businesses and other organizations, will still remain on focus.
The new breach may put Google in regulatory scrutiny as well as damage its reputation. However, it goes without saying that the lack of a tight data security system has made important information vulnerable to hackers.
Other Cyber Attacks
There have been instances of cyber attacks on several big companies.
Facebook’s security was compromised by an attack, risking personal information of more than 50 million users. Also, T-Mobile US, Inc. (TMUS - Free Report) announced that it has suffered a data breach that compromised details of about 3% of its total 77 million users or about 2 million customers.
With cyber security becoming a matter of utmost importance, all companies should regard it as part of their safeguarding strategies and look for more stringent cyber security measures to plug the loopholes in the system.
Google already faces a number of antitrust probes by the U.S. government. Getting embroiled in a security breach again, in the wake of such a tense environment, does not come as a good sign for the company.
Zacks Rank and A Stock to Consider
Currently, Alphabet carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the technology sector is Akamai Technologies, Inc. (AKAM - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Long-term earnings growth for Akamai Technologies is currently projected to be 14.67%.
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