According to The Verge, Google is notifying some users that videos from their Google Photos library were shared with strangers. The search company offers a service named Takeout in which users can request their files from any number of Google services. It appears that during the span of November 21st and November 25th, Takeout was affected by a technical issue that caused Google Photos video to be sent to the incorrect users.
Google says the affected user base is a small number so maybe this has not affected you. Although you probably should check your email for the alert. The notification from Google is fairly vague and offers no detail into the number of affected Google Photos accounts nor the number of videos that were compromised. The service has over 1 billion users so even a small percentage is pretty substantial.
“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,” explains a Google spokesperson in a statement to 9to5Google. “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.”The Verge
As you can see from the Tweet above, some users are upset at the seemingly unconcerned tone of the notification email from Google. The company may end up providing a broader statement later but there are no guarantees that will happen. For now, just check your email to see if you’ve been notified of the Google Photos issue. If you haven’t then it seems you’re in the clear.
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Last Updated on February 3, 2021.