According to the company’s blog post, Google is going to shut down the consumer version of Google+ over the next 10 months. There are two reasons behind this announcement. This decision has followed the revelation of a recently undisclosed security flaw about the exposed users’ profile data that was said to have been fixed in March 2018.
Google said that it discovered the privacy vulnerability in March that allowed third-party apps integrated with Google+ to have an access to personal details that the user had marked as private, including their name, work experience, birth date, email address and places lived.
Wall Street Journal has reported that Google executives were informed of the privacy breach in March, wherein they have already fixed the problem at this point. But Google chose to not disclose it to users or the public for fear of tarnishing its image that made a negative on a lot of users. As per the report, a memo that Google’s legal team prepared for senior executives said that telling the public about the breach would likely trigger “immediate regulatory interest”, and that what has exactly happened.
Low Usage and Engagement
Google also stated the second reason for their decision. They said that Google+ currently has “low usage and engagement” wherein 90 percent of Google+ user sessions only last less than five seconds. But still, the company is planning to keep the service for the enterprise customers who are using it to facilitate conversation among their co-workers.
As per their statement, Google is focusing on a “secure corporate social network,” which is odd to think that this announcement comes together with the news that the company had security issues leaving the profile details unprotected.
The sunset of Google+ laid some improvements and adjustments as the company announced the new privacy adjustments for other Google service. API changes will limit developers’ access to data on Android devices and Gmail. They will no longer receive call logs and SMS permissions on Android devices, and contact interaction data won’t be available through the Android Contacts API. Google is also updating the User Data Policy for the consumer version of the Gmail service. This will then limit applications and the scope of their access to user data.
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