Google is killing its Google+ social network after a period of privacy that has been kept confidential for months

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Google's parent company Mature Inc. announced. Monday is closing its social network, Google+.

The company cited two major factors in its decision to end the service: its small and unhindered user base, and the expiration of privacy announced by as many as 500,000 users.

The consumer version of Google+ will be discontinued over 10 months, ending by August, the company said. According to the statement announcing the death of the service, 90% of Google+ user sessions lasted less than five seconds.

The company said it will focus on the enterprise version of Google+, which was not affected by the privacy problem. Corporate customers use Google+ as an internal discussion network.

Google stated that it had discovered a privacy vulnerability in March, which enabled Google+ integrated third party apps to access user-marked personal data, including name, work experience, date of birth. , e-mail address and places where they lived.

Shortly before Google's announcement on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google executives were made aware of the privacy violations in March, and then decided the problem. But Google chose not to expose your users or the public because of fear that it would retrofit its image, the Journal said.

According to the report, a memorandum said that Google's legal team for senior executives had prepared that the public would be likely to encourage the “immediate regulatory interest” breach at a time when Facebook Inc. fire from without the Cambridge Analytica data body to prevent access to information about users.

The company said it had only kept two weeks of data logs that had access to the Google+ Buggy interface, so it could not confirm which users were affected or whether the error had been made.

Google+'s decline, launched in 2011, is only Google's latest social network to enter the grave.

Google Buzz had privacy concerns that Gmail has integrated into its first days in 2010, and the Federal Trade Commission charged charges against the company, alleging that it had breached its own privacy policies and attracted users to enter the network. social.

Google eventually settled with the FTC, agreeing with regular privacy audits through 2030. In addition, users filed a class action suit per company, resulting in $ 8.5 million being set.

An earlier Google social network called Orkut was launched in 2004 and received a mass user base in India and Brazil at the end of the 2000s, but eventually ended in September 2014.

Prior to its launch, the Google+ project team had over 1,000 Google employees. The Google+ company took on Facebook, hoping to access the wealth of data generated by users about themselves on social networks. Advertising represents the vast majority of the business of both companies, with 86% of Mature income and 98% of Facebook's income in the second quarter of 2018 coming from ad sales.

Google+'s death and news comes on its privacy issues as major technology companies are increasingly scrutinizing how they deal with the data of users, and only 10 days after Facebook announced that a series allowed. Similar bugs interconnected a huge violation of user data. Google Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai, agreed to listen to a House Judges Committee later this year on concerns about privacy, bias in search results and anti-competitive practices. The Senate is saddled to hold hearings on tighter privacy laws on Wednesday.

sam.dean@latimes.com

Twitter: @samaugustdean


Updates:

4:35 p.m: This section was updated with further analysis.

10:40 a.m: This article was updated with information on the Wall Street Journal report.

This article was first published at 10:35 a.m.

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