Google is shutting down Google+ for consumers following security lapse

Google is going to shut down the consumer version of Google+ over the next 10 months, the company writes in a blog post 08 October 2018. The decision follows the revelation of a previously undisclosed security flaw that exposed users’ profile data that was remedied in March 2018.

Google says Google+ currently has “low usage and engagement” and that 90 per cent of Google+ user sessions last less than five seconds. Still, the company plans to keep the service alive for enterprise customers who use it to facilitate conversation among co-workers. New features will be rolled out for that use case, the company says. Google is focusing on a “secure corporate social network,” which is odd considering this announcement comes alongside news that the company left profile details unprotected.

Developers will no longer receive call log and SMS permissions on Android devices and contact interaction data won’t be available through the Android Contacts API. That same also API provided basic interaction data, like who you last messaged, and that permission is also being revoked.

These most recent changes are being attributed to an internal Google effort called Project Strobe, which involved a review of “third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps’ data access,” according to Google.

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