Google is going to shut down the consumer version of Google+ from April 2. This comes after the revelation of a previously undisclosed security flaw that exposed users profile data. The company also discovered a critical bug in one of the Google+ People APIs. Google will delete all the content including photos, videos and posts from your account. Google has already barred users from creating new profiles, pages, communities or events from February 4.
“With the discovery of this new bug, we have decided to expedite the shut-down of all Google+ APIs; this will occur within the next 90 days. In addition, we have also decided to accelerate the sunsetting of consumer Google+ from August 2019 to April 2019. While we recognise there are implications for developers, we want to ensure the protection of our users,” said the company in a blog post. Google did not mention the challenges directly in its blog post, the company had previously announced that there was a breach in the platform’s security system that led to a leak of over 5,00,000 Google Plus accounts.
A software glitch in the social site gave outside developers potential access to private Google+ profile data between 2015 and March 2018, when internal investigators discovered and fixed the issue, The Wall Street Journal reported.
As for the Gmail changes, the company is updating its User Data Policy for the consumer version of the email service. This will limit apps and the scope of their access to user data. Ben Smith, Google fellow and VP of engineering, writes: “Only apps directly enhancing email functionality — such as email clients, email backup services and productivity services (e.g., CRM and mail merge services) — will be authorized to access this data,” The Verge reported.