Google to close Google+ social networking site

You get extra points if you remembered that Google+ was still a thing

The Wall Street Journal's Douglas MacMillan and Robert McMillan report that Google was anxious about public perception and regulatory scrutiny, and that Google wanted to avoid comparisons with Facebook, which at the time was dealing with its own data privacy scandal.

To save any of the data you shared on your Google+ account, including photos, visit Google Takeout's Download Your Data page, select Google+ (and any other Google products where you'd like an archive of your data). The lawsuit was blocked in the High Court on Monday.

Google knew about a privacy flaw in its Google+ social media platform that exposed users' personal information for over six months before finally reporting the problem in a blog post this morning. In addition, 438 third-party applications may have used the application programming interface, or API, that allowed possible access to the data, according to Google.

Per the Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive Sundar Pichai was briefed on the plan to not disclose the data breach.

"The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds", said Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View in northern California, Xinhua reported.

Google is also making some changes to its Gmail API and is limiting Android apps that request to receive Call Log and SMS permissions.

Google said it patched the bug in March this year, and Smith said Google found no evidence that any developer was aware of the bug or had abused the API.

According to the paper, the memo said that while Google could not find evidence that the exposed data had been misused, it also could not prove that misuse did not happen.

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In a statement to BleepingComputer, a Google Spokesperson said that their Privacy & Data Protection Office felt it was not necessary to disclose as it did not meet the threshold that would warrant it.

Google today revealed it'd be shutting down the consumer version of Google+ in response to a previously undisclosed security flaw - and also because no one's really using it.

Google is at the centre of controversy this morning over a report of a massive user data breach that occurred past year, with the result that they will be introducing finer grain controls to limit access to user data on the web and Android - and also shutdown Google+ for consumers.

The company says it didn't find any evidence that any of the affected personal information was misused.

The news comes just two weeks after Facebook revealed almost 50m users had been affected by a similar privacy lapse.

Many have long suspected that Google+ was in its final days, but nearly no-one could have predicted it would end like this.

"It has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps", Smith said of Google+.

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