Google is sending emails to some users about the videos they recently exported
Google is claiming a mea culpa, alerting some users of Google Photos that videos they recently exported — or downloaded — from their account went to other people by mistake. The videos they did download? Those may not be theirs either.
That's the message Google is sending to some account holders, according to a tweet sent out on Tuesday night by at least one user, and spotted by 9to5Google. Google is warning users that not only could they have downloaded material that doesn't belong to them, they may also have their own videos in someone else's storage site. The company's suggestion? Delete what you downloaded last time, and do it again.
Whoa, what? @googlephotos? pic.twitter.com/2cZsABz1xb
— Jon Oberheide (@jonoberheide) February 4, 2020
The data leak occurred if people used an option called "download your data," between November 21, 2019 and November 25, 2019. While Google is stating that the problem "has been identified and resolved," they only apparently started alerting users Monday night — more than 10 weeks later.
Certainly, deleting a file is not complicated. But knowing if personal content you had stored on Google Photos is now someone else's hands, is. Google is not telling users how many of their videos were affected — or which ones — just that one or more are involved. Users are also not being told if their videos were exported to more than one unauthorized account.
Xiaomi security cameras were recently caught sending video feeds from a home camera to a stranger's Google Home Hub in January. The Chinese company was temporarily blocked from connecting to Nest Hubs, Google Hubs and also Google Assistant.
Google has not pointed the finger at anyone in this case, other than themselves. In the meantime, any one with a Google Photo account — and who requested an export of their images and videos — should check that they have their content, and just theirs.
GearBrain has also reached out to Google for a comment. There's also nothing posted on Google Photo's twitter account. The company did not respond before this story published.