Google: Oops, we may have sent your private Google Photos videos to strangers

Google: Oops, we may have sent your private Google Photos videos to strangers thumbnail

By Stan Schroeder

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Well, this is awkward. 

Google has recently notified Google Photos users that due to a “technical issue,” in Google Photos, some users’ private videos were “incorrectly exported to unrelated users’ archives,” 9to5Google reported Monday. 

The technical glitch happened on Nov. 21, 2019, and was fixed four days later, on Nov. 25, and it apparently only affected users who used Google Takeout to request a “Download your data” export, which included content stored in Google Photos. 

On the flipside, users who downloaded their data now possibly have someone else’s videos in their archive (which, by the way, may be incomplete). 

The number of users who used Google Takeout to download their data in that five-day period is relatively small; Google told 9to5Google that only 0.01 percent of Photos users attempting Takeouts were affected. Still, with Google Photos being near omnipresent on Android phones — Google said it had over a billion users last July — even that number isn’t negligible. 

Google says the issue is fixed and that it “conducted an in-depth analysis to help prevent this from ever happening again.” Affected users were notified of the glitch, together with an apology from Google, and a suggestion to “perform another export of your content and delete your prior export at this time.”

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