From PC Mag: Google today announced that it will shut down the consumer version of Google+ following the discovery of a bug that it opted to keep secret.
In a blog post, the search giant framed the decision as one that makes sense given that very few people actively use Google+—"90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds," writes Ben Smith, a Google Fellow and VP of Engineering—and it doesn't warrant the work required to keep tabs on developers.
But as the Wall Street Journal reports, the move comes after Google discovered a bug that left private user information open to developers in March, but declined to alert users for fear of regulatory scrutiny.
"A memo reviewed by the Journal prepared by Google's legal and policy staff and shared with senior executives warned that disclosing the incident would likely trigger 'immediate regulatory interest' and invite comparisons to Facebook's leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica," the Journal says.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly knew about the plan to forgo notification.
In the blog post, Smith says Google discovered the bug in March as part of Project Strobe—"a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps' data access."
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