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Software Glitch sends Google Users’ Videos to Strangers

David Paul

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Google- Don't be evil

Google has disclosed it found a serious flaw in its Google Takeout service that affected less than 0.01% of its customers. 

Some Google users discovered on Tuesday (4th February) that their private videos had been shared with other users using the Google Takeout service.

The company announced that a bug in the Google Takeout software affected some users in November 2019 who requested to export their data from Google Photos.

For four days the bug caused the export tool to work incorrectly, adding personal videos to unrelated users’ archives. The bug also caused downloaded archives to not be fully completed.

Google said that the bug affected less than 0.01% of Google Takeout customers and that the other features of Google Photos worked correctly.

A spokesperson for the company said: “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.

“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.”

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The issue coincides with an investigation by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) into consumer complaints about how Google processes location data and its transparency measures.

The company said that it has informed the DPC of the bug immediately after the issues occurred.

The tech giant offers users a wealth of services aimed at delivering data and information to their customers, such as Google Maps, and to sort and access data such as Google Takeout, although

Google Takeout allows users to export and download data from other Google products and services, such as emails, calendars and photos.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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