Google has confirmed that some people using its Takeout service to download a copy of their data last year had content from their Google Photos account shared with complete strangers by accident.
As 9to5Google (opens in new tab) reports, the 'technical issue' happened from November 21to 25 2019, but Google is only now alerting potentially affected users by email.
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The problem involved videos (not still pictures), which were accidentally exported to other users' archives if they happened to be backing up their content at the same time as you.
Whoa, what? @googlephotos? pic.twitter.com/2cZsABz1xbFebruary 4, 2020
Affected users have received quite vague emails, simply informing them that "one or more videos in your Google Photos account was affected by this issue" without specifying which ones, or how many people were given access.
Google also advises that backups downloaded during this timeframe might be incomplete, so it's worth checking and re-saving them to ensure your archives aren't missing any snaps.
Better late than never?
Google says it's carried out an in-depth analysis to root out the cause of the problem and ensure it doesn't happen again.
Only a tiny fraction of Google Photos users were affected by the bug (approximately 0.01% according to Google's own estimates) and the company resolved the problem after a few days, but it's alarming that it's taken over two months for people whose videos were shared to be alerted.
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