Google admits sharing people’s videos in the cloud with strangers

Google has asked users to delete previous exports and request another one

The cloud is seen as a good way to store and share your content but not when you haven’t given your approval to do so.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has admitted it wrongly shared its users’ video clips stored in the cloud with other people when they used a data export tool.

With the Google Takeout function, you can download your data from Google cloud apps as a backup or for use with another service. But Google has now reported that the tool suffered a glitch last November, which saw videos stored in Google Photos possibly getting exported to other users’ archives.

Google says the undisclosed “technical issue” affected users from 21 to 25 November, with those requesting backups from Google Photos “incorrectly exporting to unrelated users’ archives.”

It added: “In requesting a backup, some of your videos – but not pictures – might be visible to random users that were also downloading their data through Google Takeout.”


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The bug also meant some Google Photos archives during the five day period had missing videos, while strangers had them instead. To rectify the problem, Google has asked users to delete previous exports and request another one.

It confirmed: “We recommend you perform another export of your content and delete your prior export at this time.”

According to the company, less than 0.01% of Photos users attempting a Takeout were affected by the problem, and that no other products were affected. Although the actual number of users has not been disclosed.

Google added: “The underlying issue has been identified and resolved.”

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