[Updated with more information] Google shared your private videos with strangers

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Update: Jon Oberheide, Co-Founder and CTO at Duo Security reached out to Google for clarification after receiving the initial email. To everyone’s surprise, Google noted that the company has little information on what exactly was leaked. In an email, Google told him that they are “not able to provide a full list of impacted videos”.

Original Story: If you exported your archives from Google Photos last year and stumble upon videos of someone else then you’re not alone. Thanks to a bug, Google Photos managed to share private videos of users with someone they don’t know without the permission of the user. The bug seems to have affected the people who downloaded their data off Google Photos within a specific time period.

Google has sent out emails to users who downloaded the data and were affected by the bug. According to Google, the bug has been fixed. However, it affected everyone who downloaded archives between November 21, 2019, and November 25, 2019. If you have noticed some videos that weren’t yours or if some of your videos are missing then you were affected by the bug. The latter indicates that your videos made it to someone else’s archive.

Google recommended users to delete the existing archive and request a new one to get all your data. The company, however, didn’t disclose the scope of the issue. Not only that, but this also raised the issue of privacy as confidential videos might make it to someone else’s archive. Google didn’t reveal how they plan to reverse this but there’s little they can do about the data that has been downloaded off the internet.

The recent Google Photos bug is another reminder to have limited trust in cloud storage services. If you have any confidential information, be it photos, or videos, it’s advisable to keep them on your local machine or a physical drive.

Via gHacks

More about the topics: google, google photos