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Google Photos accidentally sent some users' videos to strangers

Received a stranger's video on Google Photos? Or maybe a stranger has yours? Google has confirmed the issue.

Published onFebruary 4, 2020

Google Photos

Google Photos has become the go-to way for many people to back up their photos and videos, offering unlimited storage for your memories. Unfortunately, a bug in Google’s data export service means someone else may have received your saved videos.

According to Twitter user Jon Oberheide (h/t: 9to5Google), Google sent out an email to notify him of an issue affecting the Google Takeout data export service between November 21 and 25. The email notes that Oberheide requested his data during this period, including his Google Photos content.

— Jon Oberheide (@jonoberheide) February 4, 2020

“Unfortunately, during this time, some videos in Google Photos were incorrectly exported to unrelated users’ archives. One or more videos in your Google Photos account was affected by this issue,” reads an excerpt of the alert.

Google added that a dump of data downloaded during this period might contain videos that aren’t yours. It cautioned users to delete their prior dump and conduct another export.

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It’s a pretty serious flaw then, as the last thing you want is for strangers to have your videos and other media. It also makes you wonder just how a flaw like this is possible in the first place. Fortunately, Google says the issue has since been resolved, while also telling 9to5Google that photos weren’t affected.

The search company also told the outlet that less than 0.01% of Google Photos users were affected by the issue. That sounds like a tiny figure, but 0.01% of one billion users is still 100,000.

Were you affected by this Google Photos issue? Let us know in the comments!

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