Google sends messages to some Google Photos users with alarming news. At the end of five years, the Google Takeout service, which allows you to download your data, has sent videos to some users who belong to someone else. Yes, you read that right. Google has already solved the problem, but that still leaves potentially sensitive videos in the hands of strangers.
The problem started on November 21, 2019 and continued until November 25 when Google noticed and resolved the issue. If during that time you have tried to download a backup that contains files from Google Photo & # 39; s, some of your videos (but fortunately no photos) have been sent to other users who also tried use the Takeout service.
Google is informing users via e-mail, but the Google Photo & # 39; s Twitter account is silent about this. The error first came to light thanks to Google Photo & # 39; s users who posted the notification on Twitter:
– Jon Oberheide (@jonoberheide) February 4, 2020
Google asks users in the message to delete archives they have during that time downloaded. Unfortunately, that is the best thing Google can do. Once your data is in the hands of someone else, there is nothing that you or Google can do to get it back.
The company made the following statement to 9to5Google:
We are informing people of a bug that may have affected users who take Google Takeout to export their Google Photos content between November 21 and November 25 . These users may have received an incomplete archive, or video & # 39; s – not photo & # 39; s – that were not theirs. We have solved the underlying problem and conducted an in-depth analysis to prevent this from ever happening again. We are very sorry that this happened.
Google also says that fewer than 0.01% of users who tried to use Takeout for five days received the wrong video & # 39; s. However, Google Photos & # 39; s has more than one billion users and we don't know how many of them are requesting data exports on a given day. Even 0.01% can be quite a large number.
If you were affected by the problem, you should already have been notified of the problem. It is not clear why Google has waited more than two months to report users.
Google Photo & # 39; s thrives on user confidence; the service wants us to upload all our photos & videos & # 39; s so that we can easily access them on our phones, browsers and even smart screens. Errors such as this damage that have confidence and are a good reminder why you should think twice about what content you upload to the cloud. If you don't want a stranger to see it, you may not have to upload it. Ultimately, however, Google must do better.