Google Says Some Users’ Private Videos Were Accidentally Sent To Strangers

Some Google users who exported their private videos to a Google storage program may have had their videos sent to total strangers, the tech giant said this week.

A technical issue in November caused some videos that users exported to the backup storage program Download Your Data (formerly Google Takeout) to be unintentionally sent to other users’ accounts, the website 9To5 Google reported Monday.

Private videos exported to a Google storage program called Download Your Data may have accidentally been shared with other users, Google has admitted.

The storage program, first launched in 2011, allows users to export a copy of their Google account to a downloadable archive file for backup or to use the data with a service outside of Google.

Google first confirmed the error to 9To5 Google after Download Your Data users shared notices that they had received from the company online.

The incident reportedly occurred from Nov. 21 to 25. It’s not clear why users were only just now informed. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

“If you downloaded your data, it may be incomplete, and it may contain videos that are not yours,” read a statement attributed to Google that was shared on Twitter.

“We recommend you perform another export of your content and delete your prior export at this time,” the statement advised.

A Google spokesperson told CNBC that the error has been fixed and that it affected fewer than .01% of people who exported data during that five-day period in November.

“These users may have received either an incomplete archive, or videos — not photos — that were not theirs,” the spokesperson said. “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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