Google sunsets Google+ and announces privacy control actions

Google has announced the sunsetting of the consumer version of Google+, as well as additional findings and actions from an operational review of its privacy controls dubbed “Project Strobe.”

Ben Smith, Google Fellow and VP of Engineering, announced in a blog post that Google has “significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers’ expectations.”

“90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds,” Smith added.

As a result of the finding, Smith confirmed the company is shutting down Google+ for its consumers. 

The finding is one of four that came out 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.” 

Additional actions taken to address the remaining findings include more granular Google Account permissions to allow greater control over the data they share. 

In addition, Google will be updating their User Data Policy for the consumer Gmail API “to limit the apps that may seek permission to access your consumer Gmail data.”

Finally, Google will also limit applications’ ability to receive Call Log and SMS permissions on Android devices. The Android Contacts API will also no longer make contact interaction data available.

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