In Brief

Google+ to shut down after security flaw

Tech giant opted not to inform users of data security breach in March

Google has announced it will shut down its ailing Google+ social network, following reports in the Wall Street Journal that the tech giant failed to inform hundreds of thousands of users of a potential data security breach in March this year.

The Journal says that Google opted not to go public with the news that it had inadvertently allowed app developers to access profile data from users that had not been marked as public “in part because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage”.

The Washington Post reports that the decision-making process behind not disclosing the potential data breach included “briefing chief executive Sundar Pichai”, at a time when US lawmakers were scrutinising social media platforms over user data protection.

Hours after the Wall Street Journal report, Google posted a blog outlining that it has decided to shut down Google+ for consumers, saying it “has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps”.

The Telegraph reports that it will take “10 months to completely close the service”, and that a “version for businesses will remain open”.

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