Google Plus shut down: Here’s all you need to know

Google Plus shut down: Here’s all you need to know

According to The Wall Street Journal, who first reported the story, Google refused to immediately disclose the bug when it was fixed back in March due to fear of regulatory scrutiny from lawmakers.

Up to 438 apps used the application programming interface (API) that gave access to Profile data such as users' name, email address, occupation, gender and age.

Google said it was unable to confirm which accounts were affected by the bug, but an analysis indicated it could have been as many as 500,000 Google+ accounts.

"The consumer version of Google+ now has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than 5 seconds". The service will wind down over the next 10 months, with the goal of finishing the shutdown by the end of August 2019.

As part of its response to the incident, the Alphabet Inc. unit plans to announce a sweeping set of data privacy measures that include permanently shutting down all consumer functionality of Google+, the people said.

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Once you're in your Google Plus account, go to settings and scroll to the very bottom of the tab and select on the "Delete your Google+ Profile" link. Google executives were concerned about appearances, particularly as Facebook is under fire after an analytics firm allegedly misused the data of tens of millions of users.

"We believe it occurred after launch as a result of the API's interaction with a subsequent Google+ code change", Smith said. Users' private messages were not affected, according to the company.

"Our review showed that our Google+ APIs, and the associated controls for consumers, are challenging to develop and maintain".

Monday's report comes in the wake of Google CEO Sundar Pichai upcoming testimony before Congress over concerns the search engine is bias against conservatives.

The only way to fully delete your Google+ account at this time is to completely delete your Google Account, which you can do here. In a blog post published right after the WSJ's report, Google confirmed that it is shutting down Google+, as well as confirming a number of the details from the WSJ report. There are additional privacy moves in motion here, too, with Google's Project Strobe security audit also meaning most third-party developers will no longer be able to access Android SMS data, call logs, and (some) contact information.

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