Technology giant Google has said that it was shutting down Google Plus for consumers amidst new scrutiny of the company for reportedly failing to publicly disclose a security bug affecting users of the service.
In its long blog, Google said, “Over the years we’ve received feedback that people want to better understand how to control the data they choose to share with apps on Google+. So as part of Project Strobe, one of our first priorities was to closely review all the APIs associated with Google+.
“This review crystallized what we’ve known for a while: that while our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps. The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.
It further added, “Every year, we send millions of notifications to users about privacy and security bugs and issues. Whenever user data may have been affected, we go beyond our legal requirements and apply several criteria focused on our users in determining whether to provide notice.
“Our Privacy & Data Protection Office reviewed this issue, looking at the type of data involved, whether we could accurately identify the users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse, and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response. None of these thresholds were met in this instance.”
The company said that its review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ ‘that meets consumers’ expectations.’
“Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+,” it said.