Google Takeout a bit too true to its name after potentially 1000s of private videos shared with complete strangers

1% of 1% of users affected, but as it's Google that's still in the six figures

A bug in Google's Photo software caused potentially 100,000 or more netizens to have their personal videos exposed to complete strangers last Thanksgiving.

The Chocolate Factory this week began notifying punters that a bug in its data-archiving tool Takeout was to blame for some accounts having their private videos shared with total strangers.

"Unfortunately, during this time some videos in Google Photos were incorrectly exported to unrelated users archives," Google told folks in an email. "One or more videos in your Google Photos account was affected by this issue."

The Mountain View ads slinger claimed the issue only impacted a small portion of users, about 0.01 per cent. But when you operate on the size of Google, with more than one billion Photos users, that is still in the range of a hundred thousand or more users who had their private videos sent out.


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Takeout is a download service the Chocolate Factory offers to users who want to take their business elsewhere. When exporting their data, it appears that on occasion some customers were presented with video footage from other users.

“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 statement to El Reg.

"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.”

Google could not say what measures it would take for those whose images were inadvertently shared by the glitch. ®

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