Google May Have Shared Your Private Videos with Strangers

Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies
Alex Wong/ Getty

Google announced this week that its data backup service, Google Takeout, experienced a technical issue that resulted in the leaking of thousands of private user videos.

According to a report by 9 to 5 Google, users that participated in the Takeout data backup program may have had their private videos leaked to other users. The service, which allows users to backup all of the data they are storing with the Internet giant, was established in 2011. This week, users on the service received a notification from the company that their private videos may have been shared with other users.

“Unfortunately, during this time, some videos in Google Photos were incorrectly exported to unrelated users’ archives,” the Silicon Valley titan wrote in an email to affected users. “One or more videos in your Google Photos account was affected by this issue.”

The company claimed via a spokesperson that the leaks occurred between November 21 and November 25. It said that the leaks involved videos only. The spokesperson claimed that they have fixed the underlying technical issue so that the issue does not reoccur in the future.

“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,” Google said in a short comment. “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.”

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