Digital company Google Inc. decided to close the Google+ service. The closing time is reportedly faster than the original plan, which is April 2019 with the previous deadline in August 2019.
This giant digital company initially claimed the cause of the closure was because Google+ lost to compete with other social networks that were dominated by Facebook. Another reason, Google+ is considered not very satisfying. The proof, about 90 percent of service consumption only lasts less than five seconds.
Over time, the real reason for the closure was revealed because of the existence of bugs (security holes) that cause Google+ services to stop. The consequence of the existence of the bug is the exposure of the user’s personal data. For the initial stage, it was reported that the bug had exposed 500,000 user personal data.
However, after Google tried to patch the gap, a new bug appeared on the application program interface (API) and potentially jeopardized the security of 52.5 million user data. Google acknowledges that the security gap has occurred during 2015 to 2018.
In contrast to Google’s situation on the global market, the company has recently reaped praise. Google stated its willingness to pay taxes in accordance with Indonesian law. The company which is famous for its search engines and e-mails also managed to amaze the public with a number of services. One of them is support for the operation of Mass Rapid Transportation in Jakarta by making digital maps of the MRT line.
Jakarta now has a new public transportation mode, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). Google then conducted a series of new service optimizations for the Jakarta MRT. Optimization of this service is available on Google Maps. With this application, users can plan trips with the Jakarta MRT easier and no longer have to wait at the station too long. At present, information on routes, schedules and arrival times of the MRT train for Lebak Bulus Station to Bundaran HI is available on Google Maps.
Not only related to the trend of public transportation in Jakarta, Google Indonesia also stated that it would provide additional protection for important sites from potential cyber attacks ahead of the 2019 presidential election which will take place on April 17th. To get the protection, Google directs important sites related to the election to register for Project Shield, a free Jigsaw service that uses Google technology to be safe from Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attacks.
According to Google Indonesia data, those who have registered with Project Shield include the official website of the General Election Commission (KPU), Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), cekfakta.com (fact checking site), and the site owned by Perludem. Google also invites other sites related to elections such as the mass media, human rights organizations, election monitoring sites, and other non-profit organizations to register for Project Shield to obtain additional protection.
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Back to the closing issue of Google+, in the midst of the frenzied Google imaging action in Indonesia, many people expressed critical opinions. It is so that Indonesian people remain critical and vigilant regarding the security of personal data stored on Google. Evidently, security gaps (bugs) on social media Google+ managed to scramble hundreds of thousands of personal data consisting of names, e-mail addresses, jobs, gender, age, and other data that users entered when registering.
Google’s acknowledgment which states that this security incident has been going on for three years, has become a public concern. Various opposition to the digital giant emerged. The opposition of Google consumers also brought dejavu a case of a potential violation of privacy which was then faced by Google China.
In China, Google has developed a prototype system that offers new services, namely private telephone number searchers. The service called Dragonfly is considered by many to be so vulgar that it has been rejected by many groups.
Interestingly, the service that has been airing since 2017 has not even been recognized by Google. There was no official statement from the US multinational company, although it was previously said that the system was ready to be tested, but it was not certain where the exact location, including the planned launch in China.
This case is even more interesting because it turns out that the Dragonfly application has been rejected by Google. About 1,400 of their employees have signed a petition letter containing the demands for openness of this project.
The Dragonfly project raises quite a lot of controversy within Google. A widespread issue is the alleged meeting of Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, with Chinese officials, although there has been no official confirmation or further development of this issue.
For developing countries like Indonesia, perhaps the issue of securing personal data has not received great attention from the public. To be sure, with the potential for very large vulnerabilities, mass cases of personal data leakage can be a national disaster for Indonesia. This is why many people judge, the government should work proactively so that Google continues to improve its security.
Although it promises the continuity of the audit program called “Project Strobe” – which is precisely the first time to reveal the existence of a bug on Google+ for many years – still Google must get tighter supervision from the Indonesian government. Moreover, the government’s efforts to make Google greater profit through the construction of high-speed internet infrastructure, continue to be encouraged. At the very least, Google must be able to provide equal compensation from what the digital giant has obtained at this time.