One of the benefits of cloud storage services like Google Photos is that you can access it anywhere, anytime, and on pretty much any device. The bad news is that all your data is in Google’s hands, although the company does have privacy policies in place that attempt to reassure customers that their content will be kept private.
For the most part, this is true, but more recently it seems that Google screwed up pretty big where videos that users had set as private, were accidentally shared with other users. Basically, there was an issue with Google’s “Download your data” service where it accidentally exported some stored videos to another user’s archive while bundling them up for download.
This means that not only are some users downloading archives with videos that are missing, but other users might find themselves with archives containing private videos that do not belong to them, which hopefully aren’t too compromising in nature. It is unclear at this point as to how many users might have been affected by this and how many videos might have been accidentally shared with a stranger.
— Jon Oberheide (@jonoberheide) February 4, 2020
Google has since issued a statement that reads:
“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.”