Two BIG pieces of news about Google for you. The company has announced that it’s shutting down personal Google + accounts. They’ll start winding down the service now, eventually ending it completely in August.

The bigger story here is why they made that decision. It turns out the company discovered a huge security flaw with Google + accounts that exposed the personal information of half a million Google users. Google found about this back in March but only made it public just now.

This security flaw allowed 438 apps to view personal information like name, email address, gender, age, and occupation without the user giving permission. Google says it patched the flaw as soon as it was discovered and there’s no evidence that any of the information was misused.

Google + was started to challenge Facebook but never really got off the ground as competition even though Google, at one point, made it mandatory to have an account to log into their apps and services.

Because of this security issue, Google says it is changing the way it grants permissions for apps and services, making sure that consumers can give explicit permission for each piece of data that an app needs to access.