Google Admits they Accidentally Sent your Videos to Strangers

Imagine downloading a complete stranger's video collection... That's what happened.


Just in case you thought there weren't enough good reasons to stop using Google to store your personal photos and videos, Google admits it accidentally leaked them to unsuspecting strangers.

This past Tuesday, Google sent messages to people affected by its most recent glitch, admitting that a bug in its Google Takeout application will accidentally download the videos of a complete stranger.

Google Takeout is a service of the Google Photos web app, which hosts backed up photos from a person's smartphone or tablet, sometimes automatically, with -or without- a user's knowledge. The photos can be backed up and downloaded to any device later, in order to save space on the -already limited- storage space of the average smart device. The problem was, sometimes the service will download backed-up content from the entirely wrong device, and even complete stranger's content.

This must have been an awkward moment for Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Pictured above) to have to explain to customers, and media. Picture courtesy of  RDFstrategies

That's what the open letter to Google Photos users explained this past Tuesday. In response to a CNBC correspondent, a Google spokesperson had this to say:

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

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.

According to Google via 9to5google, less that 0.01% of people using Google Photos were affected by this glitch before it was patched in November. Since there is no reliable number of how many Google users there are out there, There's no telling how many thousands were affected.

Google is no stranger to having major security lapses. In July of 2015, a security vulnerability affected some half-a-million Google Plus users, resulting in personal information being leaked online. Google didn't tell people about the leak until late 2018, and the scandal resulted in Google shutting down the social network in February of 2019.

Stay tuned for Google Chrome's 'security-problem-of-the-week.'
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