Google's Failed Social Network, Google+, Will Be No More

Google exposed personal data of almost 500,000 and didn't disclose it

Google Shutters Google+ Following Privacy Vulnerability

Late Monday, Google shuttered its Google+ social network following the disclosure that personal data for hundreds of thousands of users was potentially exposed because of a bug it kept quiet. Exposed data included names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship status.

Google+ minus people: In a blog post published after the article ran, Google said it had found no evidence data had been abused, and that it would shut off consumer access to Google+ (a corporate version will presumably continue to run).

According to the WSJ, Google chose not to divulge the data breach because "the incident would likely trigger "immediate regulatory interest" and invite comparisons to Facebook's leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica".

Google+ will come to an end for consumers next August, but business users will still be able to use the service as an internal corporate social network.

The company cited the reason of the closure as the fact that Google+ had failed to achieve "broad consumer or developer adoption".

Google will wind down Google+ during the coming 10 months to allow people time to download pictures, videos or other data they want from their accounts.

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"The Data Protection Commission was not aware of this issue and we now need to better understand the details of the breach, including the nature, impact and risk to individuals and we will be seeking information on these issues from Google", the regulator said.

Google said it would continue to offer private Google+-powered networks for businesses now using the software.

Users can grant access to their Profile data, and the public Profile information of their friends, to Google+ apps, via the API.

Despite the security gaff, Google officials opted not to disclose the problem at the time over fear of intense criticism akin to what Facebook went through after its privacy problems.

Google has even admitted that no one actually uses Google+. We believe it occurred after launch as a result of the API's interaction with a subsequent Google+ code change. As for why it's being shut down, Google says that Google+ has "low usage and engagement", with 90 percent of G+ user sessions lasting less than five seconds.

All of this has led Google to finally admit Google+ was a failure, with the company announcing that it will close over the next ten months with a pivot to the enterprise market in the cards.

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