Alphabet-owned technology giant Google has announced that it is shutting down the consumer version of its failed social network Google+. This is being done because the company reported that private profile data of at least 500,000 users may have been exposed to hundreds of external developers.
Shares of its parent company Alphabet closed down 1% at $1155.92 following the latest in a run of privacy issues to hit big U.S. tech companies. However, Google has chosen not to disclose the security issue due to fears of regulatory scrutiny.
Also, the company stated that none of the thresholds it requires to disclose a breach were met after reviewing the type of data involved.
“Users have the right to be notified if their information could have been compromised,” said Jacob Lehmann, managing director at legal firm Friedman CyZen. “This is a direct result of the scrutiny that Facebook dealt with regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal.”
Launched in 2011, Google+ was an advertising giant that grew more concerned about competition from Facebook, which could pinpoint ads to users based on data they had shared about their friends, likes and online activity.
Google’s plan to withdraw the free version of Google+ could help strengthen its case to U.S. policymakers and regulators. Play Store apps will no longer be allowed to access text message and call logs unless they are the default calling or texting app on a user’s device or have an exception from Google.