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Google bug saw videos sent to archives of the wrong users

The individual is now responsible for deleting copies of a video belonging to someone else that they might be in possession of.
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Written by Asha Barbaschow, Journalist on
Google. Googleplex office in Silicon Valley.
Image: Getty Images

Google has reached out to some users to apologise after a "technical issue" saw videos uploaded to another user's archives. 

In an email, the search engine giant said the issue affected the Google "download your data" service -- called Google Takeout -- for Google Photos in November last year.

"Between November 21, 2019, and November 25, 2019, our records show you requested a Google 'download your data' export, which included Google Photos content," the company wrote.

"Unfortunately, during this time, some videos in Google Photos were incorrectly exported to unrelated user's archives.

"One or more videos in your Google Photos account was affected by this issue."

See also: Google has new apps to help users learn responsible device use—but can they actually help? (TechRepublic)

Similarly, Google said that if a user downloaded their data, it may have been incomplete and also might contain videos that do not belong to them. 

The company said the issue has been identified and resolved.

"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," a Google spokesperson told ZDNet.

Any individuals who exported videos that belonged to someone else is now responsible for deleting them. 

"We recommend you perform another export of your content and delete your prior export at this time," Google urged users in its email.

The spokesperson confirmed the issue affected videos and not photos.

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