Google emailed affected users of the Google Photos service that private videos had been accidentally exported to strangers. The “technical problem” is said to have affected users who used the “Google Takeout” service to export their personal data between November 21 and 25, 2019.
As a result of the problem, a small number of users were provided with videos in the downloaded archive that were not by them. According to Google, the problem affected only 0.01 percent of all users of the takeout service during this period, but the company does not provide absolute numbers of users or videos that were transmitted to the wrong person. Photos are said not to have been affected by the problems. Google Photos has more than a billion users worldwide.
Google does not say which videos are affected
The affected users themselves were also only given general information that one or more videos were affected by them and were passed on to other users, but not which videos they were in individual cases, which could, however, be of importance for them.
– Jon Oberheide (@jonoberheide) February 4, 2020
The export to external users can no longer be undone since the provided archives have been downloaded. Google therefore has no choice but to ask users to delete their last takeout exports – with the indication that these not only contain videos from other people, but could also be incomplete.
Problem immediately solved and analyzed
According to Google, the problem that led to the inadvertent export of its own videos to strangers was fixed on November 25, 2019, but does not provide any details as to how the wrong export occurred. An in-depth analysis was also carried out to ensure that something like this never happened again.