Google says that some users private videos have been mistakenly sent to strangers

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Many Google users who uploaded their private videos to a Google Storage system may have sent their videos to total strangers, the tech giant said this week. A technical issue in November caused some videos that users uploaded to the Download Your Data backup system (formerly Google Takeout) to be accidentally sent to other user's accounts, Google's 9To5 website posted on Monday.

The storage system, which was first released in 2011, allows users to upload a copy of their Google account to a portable archive file for backup or to use data with a company outside of Google.

Google first confirmed the error made to 9To5 Google after downloading the shared notifications that users had received from the online company.



The incident was reported to have occurred from Nov. 21 to 25. It's not clear why users have just been told. Google did not respond immediately to a request for comments on Tuesday.

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

"We recommend that you perform another export of your content at this time and delete your prior export," said the statement.

A Google spokesperson told CNBC that the mistake had been corrected and that less than 1.01 per cent of the people who exported data during that five-day stretch in November had been affected.

"Some people may have obtained either an outdated archive or videos — not photos — that were not theirs," said the spokesperson. "We have resolved the underlying issue and carried out an in-depth analysis to help prevent this from ever happening again. We're so sorry this has happened."

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