Google is killing Google

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The bug in question remained active between 2015 and 2018, and Google discovered it in March; during this period, the flaw affected more than 500,000 users.

The Wall Street Journal separately reported Monday that Google executives delayed announcing problems with Google+ because of concerns about its reputation and the danger of sparking new pushes for regulation.

The data exposed included full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile pictures, places lived, occupations and relationship status. Thankfully, according to Google, no developer was aware of the bug, was misusing the Google+ API, or had misused private data from users' profiles.

Google, for its part, said in a report that they have found no evidence that "the data had been improperly accessed or misused". The social network, which was launched in 2011, was initially supposed to be a response to Facebook and Twitter, but it has ceased to exist outside of a handful of niche communities for years.

In light of the data breach, Google said consumers will "get more fine-grained control" over what data they choose to share, and that they will limit the number of apps that can gain access to consumers' Gmail data.

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Smith, however, announced that Google Plus will not be shut down immediately. This bug allowed apps that had access to Profile fields that were shared with the user but not marked as public.

Hot on the heels of the Facebook security breach last month, there has been another faux pas involving Google+.

This privacy breach, in addition to dwindling user numbers and engagement, has prompted the search giant to shutter the consumer side of Google+.

Google has even admitted that no one actually uses Google+.

A Google spokesperson said there were "significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers' expectations". "Our goal is to support a wide range of useful apps, while ensuring that everyone is confident that their data is secure". By doing this, it hopes to make users of Google's apps confident that their data is secure. "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+", Google said in the blog announcement.

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