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Google admits it accidentally sent users’ private videos to strangers

EPA/BORIS ROESSLER
A file picture dated 21 October 2004 shows a man passing by a Google logo in Frankfurt, Germany. Germany is mulling stricter regulation of Google and other search providers, and might seek a break-up of US-based Google if it did not get its way, a spokesman in Berlin said 16 May 2014. US-based Google has been heavily criticized by major German media groups which have requested a share of revenues from news searches. It has also faced a European Union inquiry since 2010 into whether it discriminates against competitors. 'The Economics Ministry is studying whether, over and above existing competition laws, consideration should be given to integrating regulation of search-engine access into the general regime of network neutrality at the European level,' said Stefan Rouenhoff. He spoke hours after his minister, Sigmar Gabriel, published an article in a national newspaper calling for 'unrestricted data capitalism to be restrained and tamed.' He suggested in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Google could be 'unbundled' as a last resort if nothing else stopped it.

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Google alerted some of its Google Photo users that the tech giant accidentally sent their private videos to strangers. The company said the reason was a “technical issue”.
The glitch affected Google’s Takeout service, that allows users to download their data. Google fixed the issue after five days. Users who requested backups between 21 and 25 November potentially received videos that did not belong to them.
“If you downloaded your data, it may be incomplete, and it may contain videos that are not yours. We recommend you perform another export of your content and delete your prior export at this time”, the company said in an apologetic email to its users.
“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 said.
Google claims that fewer than 0.01% of people who exported data during the time period were affected. However, it is unclear how many users are actually affected.

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