Google Photos Accidentally Sent Backed Up Videos To Strangers Via Takeout

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Another day, another data privacy flub, and this time it's from Google. Google Takeout is a service that allows users to download their data from Google apps as a backup or to use it with another service. That sounds good on the surface until, somehow, Google managed to send backed up videos to unrelated users. Google began warning users of impacted accounts this week.

Google is calling sending videos to the wrong person a "technical issue," and the letter sent to users notes that between November 21-25, 2019, anyone who requested a backup could have had videos in Google Photos "incorrectly exported to unrelated users' archives." A letter sent out to some users didn't specify how many videos were compromised in the backup process. It stated: "one or more videos in your Google Photos account was affected by this issue."

On the flip side, the backup that these users did download during that time may be incomplete, or it could have videos from other impacted users mixed into their backup file. Google wants users that made a backup during that period to delete the old export and request another one. Google claims that the flaw impacted less than 0.01% of Photos users who attempted to use Takeouts.

Google notes that no other product was impacted and says that it has identified and resolved the bug that caused the Takeouts issue. The search giant offered no insight into what exactly may have caused this issue. Google isn't the only major tech firm to face a serious privacy issue recently, as Microsoft had an issue that exposed 250 million customer records.