Google is shutting down Google+ which is the social network launched in mid-2011. The official announcement came via their blog in which Google revealed an undisclosed security flaw which may have affected up to 500,000 accounts. This security bug seems to have been active from 2015 and was patched in March 2018.
The security bug allowed third-party developers to access Google+ user profile data. Essentially, once the G+ user allowed permission to an app to access their public profile data, the security bug allowed the app developers to mine some data like names, email addresses, gender, birth dates, profile photos, places lived, occupation, and relationship status.
That being said, Google believes that there is no indication that the above mentioned data was misused via the apps that may have had access. Google+ for consumers will be sun-setting in August 2019, however, the enterprise version will still be available via G-Suite.
Also, Google revealed that Google+ has “low usage and engagement” and that “90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.” You can read more about Project Strobe which was their security audit project.
Though Google+ was a ghost town, many people including me, enjoyed the ad-free social network. There is petition being signed to keep this social network alive (see link below).
– Google+ Official Announcement: https://plus.google.com/+googleplus/posts/ENCsBdhZC4W
– Project Strobe Blog Post: https://www.blog.google/technology/safety-security/project-strobe/
– Petition To Keep G+: https://www.change.org/p/google-inc-don-t-shut-down-google-plus-54f15bea-1d8c-4be9-a53f-e2ceee1302f4
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