If you use Google Photos, and you used the Google Takeout data download/backup service, you may want to pay attention closely to this warning sent by email today from Google to users.
With Google Takeout, you can download your data from Google apps as a backup or for use with another service. Unfortunately, a brief issue with the tool last November saw your videos in Google Photos possibly get exported to strangers’ archives.
Google this evening began alerting Takeout users about the “technical issue.” From November 21-25, 2019, those that requested backups could have had videos in Google Photos “incorrectly exported to unrelated users’ archives.”
In requesting a backup, some of your videos — but not pictures — might be visible to random users that were also downloading their data through Google Takeout. The company did not specify what media was affected beyond “one or more videos in your Google Photos account was affected by this issue.”
Some Google Photos videos in ‘Takeout’ backups were sent to strangers last November
[Abner Li, 9to5google.com, via techmeme.com]
To be clear, this is a big screw-up. I hope the number of affected parties is small, but the impact to those parties could be high...and very unsettling. But my real beef is with this nonchalant and non-specific notification email. Hopefully Google follows up with more comms.
— Jon Oberheide (@jonoberheide) February 4, 2020