Google Shutting Down Its ‘Plus’ Service After Repeated Security Breaches

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is shutting down its Plus service, an unsuccessful social networking platform that was designed to compete with Facebook (NASDAQ: FB)

While little used compared to Facebook, the main reason that Google is shutting down Plus is that the company has been struggling to protect the personal information of people using the online service.

A privacy flaw that inadvertently exposed the names, email addresses, ages and other personal information of 52.5 million Google Plus users in November has prompted Google to announce that it is officially closing the Plus service in April 2019. Google announced the closure and privacy breach in a Monday blog post.

It is the second time in two months that Google has disclosed the existence of a problem that enabled unauthorized access to Plus profiles online. In October, the company acknowledged a privacy flaw affecting 500,000 Plus service users that it waited more than six months to disclose.

Google moved more quickly to own up to the most recent privacy problem on Plus. This time around, the names, email addresses, ages and other personal information of the affected Plus service users were exposed for six days in November before the problem was fixed. No financial information or passwords were visible to intruders, according to Google’s blog post.

Like Facebook, Google makes most of its money by selling ads that draw on what the company learns about the interests, habits and locations of people while they're using its free services.