Google notifies users their videos may have been downloaded by strangers

Google notifies users their videos may have been downloaded by strangers
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Google announced Tuesday that a software flaw may have caused some users' videos to be downloaded by strangers without their consent but stressed that the bug was limited to a small share of users.

A statement obtained by CNBC from the company explained that videos uploaded by some users to the Google Photos app were downloaded by other users accidentally when they used the Google Takeout feature, which allows users to download copies of their own private data.

In some cases, using the Google Takeout feature resulted in users receiving videos from other Google Photos users, apparently without either party's knowledge.


“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,” a Google spokesperson said.

“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 spokesperson continued.

The spokesperson went on to stress that fewer than 0.01 percent of all Google Photos users who used Google Takeout between Nov. 21 to Nov. 25 were affected.

An email sent by the company to affected users was posted on Twitter by the co-founder of Duo Security. The correspondence indicated that the company did not inform users which specific videos could have been shared without their knowledge.