Google mistakenly sends private user videos to strangers

Google accidentally sent users’ personal videos to strangers’ cloud backup accounts, according to a report from 9to5Google.

This was due to an issue in Google Takeout, an app which lets users download and archive media from Google services like Google Photos.

In a notice sent to affected users, the company explained that a technical issue had occurred on Takeout between 21 November and 25 November 2019.

“Unfortunately, during this time, some videos in Google Photos were incorrectly exported to unrelated user’s archives. One or more videos in your Google Photos account was affected by this issue,” Google told affected users.

It did not elaborate further on which videos were shared with other users.

Google stated that archives downloaded during this time frame may be incomplete and contain content from other users.

The company said that the problem was identified and resolved, but recommended that users perform another backup and delete their prior exports.

Small number of users impacted

Google claimed the glitch affected less than 0.01% of Photos users performing Takeout backups and added that it was assessing the cause of the issue.

“We fixed the underlying issue and have conducted an in-depth analysis to help prevent this from ever happening again. We are very sorry this happened,” Google said.

Below is a tweet from an affected user, along with the alert sent by Google.

Now read: Google faces EU privacy probe for location tracking

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Google mistakenly sends private user videos to strangers