Google is also going to be limiting access to the apps seeking access to your SMS and Gmail data.
Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, accessed information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge. The lawsuit was blocked in the High Court on Monday. Instead, it's due to Google uncovering a major security vulnerability that exposed the information of up to 500,000 accounts.
There was another factor at play, though, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. "The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds", the company said in a statement. It says it discovered the breach during a review this year of this type of third-party data access. Also, Smith is adamant Project Strobe found "no evidence" this bug was abused or even that the developers using the API were aware it existed.
The timeline laid out by Google indicates the company discovered the privacy lapse about the same time Facebook was under fire for a leak in its far more popular social network. In addition, Google Account permissions dialog boxes will be split to show each requested permission, one at a time, within its own dialog box. No developer exploited the vulnerability or misused data, the company's review found.
Meanwhile, Google planned to add new workplace-oriented features to enhance the appeal of Google+ as a "secure corporate social network" to be used inside business operations. Somehow, the intimate data of the first user would be included in the collection profile.
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A Google spokesperson cited "significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers" expectations" along with "very low usage' as the reasons for killing off the service.
Given the potential for abuse, and the fact that nearly no one is using Google+, Alphabet opted to take the path of least resistance and yank the doddering network off life support.
Smith says in the post that Google+ "has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps".
"Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we made a decision to sunset the consumer version of Google+", the company said in a statement.
Project Strobe will also lead to Google account holders getting more fine-grained controls over the data they share with apps, which now have overly broad access to user information, Google said.