Google says some users’ Google Photos videos were sent to strangers

Google Photos app Android

Google has admitted a privacy issue with Photos.

Some Google Photos users are now being alerted that their videos were exported to another user’s archive during a Google Takeout session. Takeout is Google’s tool that allows you to download your data from the company’s various services, including Google Photos.

The issue occurred between November 21st and November 25th, 2019. “Unfortunately, during this time, some videos in Google Photos were incorrectly exported to unrelated users’ archives,” Google explains to affected users. “One or more of your videos in your Google Photos account was affected by this issue.”

Google also notes that if you downloaded your Photos data during this period, it may be incomplete and instead may have other users’ videos.

Speaking to 9to5Google, Google says that less than 0.01% of Photos users that accessed Takeout were affected. It adds that if you used Takeout during this time, you should delete that old export and perform another export now.

Google also confirmed that it has “fixed the underlying issue” and it has performed an analysis to prevent it from happening again. “We are very sorry this happened,” Google said.

This is obviously a pretty serious issue. Lots of people store important, personal photos and videos in Google Photos, and it could be upsetting if your personal videos were randomly given to someone else. Google does say that 0.01% of Photos users that accessed Takeout were affected, but Google Photos does have over 1 billion users, so the number of people affected by this issue could still be significant.

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