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Google Photos says your videos might have been backed up in another account

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When you store photos or videos on a cloud service, you are assuming that only you will be able to have access to it, unless you give a link or permission to someone else. So when Google Photos announced that someone else may have accidentally gotten your videos, it should be cause for concern. Google now says they have been able to fix the problem which happened last November, but it’s still unacceptable that this happened in the first place.

Those who used Google Takeout or Google Photos’ data export tool were the ones that possibly got affected by this bug/security flaw. Google has notified the affected users that some of the videos from your Google Photos may have been “incorrectly exported” to the archives of unrelated users. This happened between November 12 and 25. In the same way, you may have also gotten videos that weren’t yours.

Their advice in the notification email is to delete the previous export which they might have done and then just perform another export. Other than that though there isn’t much you can do. They did assure users that the issue has been “identified and resolved”. Google seems to be downplaying this incident as they said that only 0.01% of its users were affected. However, given how many users Google Photos has, that’s still a pretty huge number.

Google says they are “very sorry this happened” and they conducted an in-depth analysis as to how and why this happened. They didn’t give the results of that analysis though so it’s cold comfort for those whose videos may have been downloaded and viewed by someone else. There’s no guarantee that all users will delete the videos they accidentally got so it’s still a cause for concern.

In any case, if you’ve used Google Takeout during that period, make sure to check your email in case Google notified you. Other than that, cross your fingers that your videos did not get into nefarious hands.

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