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Google is shutting down Google+ for consumers following security vulnerability

Google is shutting down its long-shunned Plus social network for consumers, following its disclosure of a security vulnerability discovered in March that could have exposed some personal information of up to 500,000 people.

The announcement came in a Monday blog post, which marked Google’s first public description of the privacy bug.

Google deliberately avoided disclosing the problem at the time, in part to avoid drawing regulatory scrutiny and damaging its reputation, according to a Wall Street Journal story that cited anonymous individuals and documents.

The Mountain View, California, company declined to comment on the Journal’s report, and didn’t fully explain in its blog post why it held off on revealing the bug until Monday.

The Google Plus flaw could have allowed up to 438 external apps to scoop up user names, email addresses, occupations, genders and ages without authorization. Although Google didn’t find any evidence that any of the personal information affected b…

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