Google is alerting some users of its Google Photos service that they’ve had their private videos sent to strangers by the search giant. Google’s Takeout service, that lets people download their data, was affected by a “technical issue” between November 21st and November 25th last year. It resulted in a small number of users receiving private videos that didn’t belong to them.
Google’s nonchalant email alerting users doesn’t provide any details on how many people were affected, nor the amount of individual videos that were distributed incorrectly per account. Google fixed the issue after five days, and 9to5Google reports that less than 0.01 percent of Google Photos users who used Takeout were affected. Google Photos has over 1 billion users, so even a small percentage will impact a significant number of people. Google has apologized “for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
— Jon Oberheide (@jonoberheide) February 4, 2020
“We are notifying people about a bug that may have affected users who used Google Takeout to export their Google Photos content between November 21 and November 25,” explains a Google spokesperson in a statement to 9to5Google. “These users may have received either an incomplete archive, or videos — not photos — that were not theirs. 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.”