Google parent company Alphabet has announced that it will shut down the consumer version of Google+, its social network meant as a competitor for Facebook. It is taking the extraordinary move because it discovered a software bug that could have exposed the personal information of half a million users to third-party developers.
The company is coming under criticism because it reportedly knew about the vulnerability in March but chose not to disclose it because it had found no evidence that it had been exploited.
In addition to shuttering Google+, the company is also taking some other steps that could affect the mobile development industry. It will bar Play Store apps from accessing text and call logs unless they are the default text or voice app on the user’s phone. Also, Gmail add-ons are now barred from selling user data.