Google accidentally includes videos of other users in data exports - gHacks Tech News

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Google accidentally includes videos of other users in data exports

If you need another reason why it is wise not to put too much trust in "the cloud", this may be it. Google is mailing users of the company's Google Photos service currently to inform them about an issue that occurred last year.

According to the email, data exports of Google Photos content resulted in videos being exported to archives of other Google Photos users for a period of time. Google notes that this started on November 21, 2019 and went on until November 25, 2019.

google photos export

Users of Google Photos who requested a data export during that time may have been affected by this. Some users may have had videos attached to the downloaded archives that are not theirs, and some may have noticed that some of their videos are missing from an archive. The latter indicates that these videos have found their way into the archives of other users.

The data of users who did not request an export of data in the specified time period is not affected.

The issue was resolved according to Google, and the only suggestion that Google has is to request another download and delete the already downloaded archive and its content.

Google does not mention the scope of the issue in the email and it is unlikely that the company will ever reveal it.

The impact to affected customers may be high considering that this may lead to breaches of privacy and even potential leaks.

Customers may also be less than impressed with Google's rather cold sounding email as it provides no information on the videos that may have been put into the exported archives of other users.

While it may be possible to go through the archive to find out manually, more assistance from Google would probably be appreciated by the majority of users affected by this.

Closing Words

The latest incident confirms my stance on cloud-based services: if you have data, be it photos, videos, text documents or something else, that you under no circumstances want someone else to access, then you better not upload it to the Internet.

Now You: what is your take on this?

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Google accidentally includes videos of other users in data exports
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Google accidentally includes videos of other users in data exports
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A Google Photos exports issue resulted in the accidental inclusion of videos of other customers in the exported data archives.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. JF Berne said on February 4, 2020 at 10:40 am
    Reply

    You right about that: if you don’t want it public, don’t upload it. Now considering the low price of a 1TB storage today, the only reason not to run your own data server at home is computer illiteracy. The same reason as … 30 years ago?

    1. really said on February 4, 2020 at 11:53 am
      Reply

      So it’s totally the person’s fault, OK….

      Also computer illiteracy certainly isn’t the one and only reason not to have a NAS or especially a server. Not everyone can afford it, not everyone wants to maintain it. Also the price of the HD’s is normally the minor part. But perhaps you aren’t computer literate so don’t understand that.

      1. ULBoom said on February 4, 2020 at 1:43 pm
        Reply

        @really:

        It’s totally the person’s fault that Google screwed up? Really?

        On the subject of illiteracy, a USB drive is all you need, along with a router, to have storage accessible from anywhere.

        Really?

  2. JF Berne said on February 4, 2020 at 10:41 am
    Reply

    I mean the same reason for not using FOSS.

  3. dtoxic said on February 4, 2020 at 11:13 am
    Reply

    “The Cloud” = Some one else s Storage, use a NAS people abandon this spy tool called google

  4. ard said on February 4, 2020 at 12:06 pm
    Reply

    -A Cloud in Meteorology is a dark spot in the sky, that offers a shade to many people below it and if the cloud is dark enough it will offer its content in the form of rain to many people below it.

    -The Cloud in Technology is a misty place , somewhere?, that offers a place for many people to store their (private) content and when the Cloud desires, it will offer its content , the (private) content of the many connected people to the lot of connected people or those that knocking on their door.

  5. ULBoom said on February 4, 2020 at 1:31 pm
    Reply

    “…if you have data, be it photos, videos, text documents or something else, that you under no circumstances want someone else to access, then you better not upload it to the Internet.”

    Now You: what is your take on this?

    That ^

    We should all follow the lead of walking around pulling a little red wagon filled with 99 phones.

  6. asd said on February 4, 2020 at 1:36 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for the reminder. I learned my lesson a long time ago to not ever trust “the cloud” especially if it is “free”…

  7. notanon said on February 4, 2020 at 1:56 pm
    Reply

    Bwa ahahahahahahahaha ,,, Bwa ahahahahahahaha …

  8. pHROZEN gHOST said on February 4, 2020 at 3:21 pm
    Reply

    When you put your valuable data out there on someone else’s storage you are at risk.

    Do not assume that Google is the only company with this issue.

    Look what’s happened with DNA tests. Data is sent to various organizations including law enforcement.

  9. VioletMoon said on February 4, 2020 at 6:32 pm
    Reply

    I thought people encrypted their files before uploading to the cloud–especially photos and videos. With the right tool, one can compress and encrypt and upload all with one click.

    Guess I was wrong . . . .

    1. Ivan said on February 5, 2020 at 7:44 am
      Reply

      Ask 10 random people on the street about encryption.
      If you find a single one who uses it, buy a lottery ticket that day…

      1. thebrowser said on February 5, 2020 at 9:03 am
        Reply

        I see your 10 and raise you to 100. Good luck, but I don’t have much hope for that lottery ticket.

    2. PlainText said on February 5, 2020 at 10:52 am
      Reply

      There’s no guarantee that something that’s safely encrypted right now will stay that way in the future. Between non-publicised backdoors, undiscovered bugs and workarounds waiting to be exploited, and general technological progress rendering current ciphers insecure and obsolete, it’s probably a safe bet that our current maths-based secrets will eventually become easily decipherable. I just hope that I won’t be around to care when that time comes.

  10. Jake said on February 4, 2020 at 6:35 pm
    Reply

    Lol. You can’t make this stuff up!

    I prefer offline archives; as (at least if there is some sort of privacy breach or data loss), I only have my dumb self to blame for allowing it to happen!

  11. Gabriel said on February 4, 2020 at 11:27 pm
    Reply

    Using cloud storage and encrypting your data before uploading is perfectly fine.
    Make up a 100 character password with special characters, keep that safe on 2-3 thumb drives, encrypt file names and you’re set.

    1. Anonymous said on February 5, 2020 at 5:41 am
      Reply

      Then you lost the password and it’s all gone lol

    2. Ivan said on February 5, 2020 at 7:46 am
      Reply

      Thumbdrives are not a safe data storage. Better to print it out, or just store it in your offline password manager, whose DB file you keep in your backup solution with offsite backups.

      1. thebr said on February 5, 2020 at 9:07 am
        Reply

        Password length provides better entropy than a complex sequence of characters. One could simply memorize a poem, a text from a book or something of that sort and you won’t foget it. You don’t even have to memorize it if you know the book and page.

  12. Anonymous said on February 4, 2020 at 11:49 pm
    Reply

    Google is the best cloud. Unlimited data for $12. Nothing comes close. I encrypt everything I upload (I would do the same in any cloud anyway).

  13. apollo130470 said on February 5, 2020 at 4:49 pm
    Reply

    Why anybody would entrust their data to this google leech outfit is beyond me.
    This is the same traitorous racket that let the NSA in through the backdoor,
    so they could help themselves to as much user data as they wanted.
    Unforgivable, plain & simple.
    And I’m gonna make sure nobody will ever forget it.

  14. Hancock said on February 6, 2020 at 11:29 am
    Reply

    Wonder how many google staff will go to prison, how much google will be fined, how much compensation affected users will be paid.

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