Duo Security owner – Jon Oberheide, who is a PhD at the University of Michigan, threw a screen on his Twitter from the email he received from Google. It shows that between November 21 and 25, 2019, there was a technical error in Google’s servers that led to accidental uploads photos to other users’ archives.
However, this is not the end, during this period there may have been errors and deficiencies in the downloaded files, and there may also be videos from other users. So, if between your photos from the mountain trip there were recordings from a someone grandmother’s birthday in Switzerland, then you know why. Also remember that if you were doing or backing up from the cloud to your disks at that time, some files may have been missed.
The error has been marked as resolved, but since they are now reporting it, it has either been affected by a small group of people, so there were not many reports or the losses were very difficult to estimate.
My photos are in the cloud, what should I do?
Saving photos in the cloud may seem like a fantastic way to protect your memories from random events such as damaged computers or damaged hard drives. However, as Apple proved a few years ago, no matter where they are, when they are – they are somewhere outside your computer, on someone’s server and someone can steal them. It is true that the reason for this was not a hacker attack, but a simple human error – but it just shows that all these great technological facilities are created by ordinary people who can make ordinary mistakes.
If you are worried about your files, you can stock up on ready NAS home servers that can be accessed from both personal computers and telephones. Paranoids can burn their photos on magnetic tapes and hide them in a dry basement or at their mother-in-law behind a dresser. Each network service means sending your files to someone, so every thing we send to the Internet should be treated as made public.
And probably every file we once sent will be “there” forever and someone can find it someday.
If I had to answer the question “what to do, how to live?” – I would always suggest doubting whether we really want to do a “secure” backup of your file on the Internet.
You can always keep CD’s in a binder 😀
In case you need to remember to say “Honey, it’s not mine, look, here’s the email from Google!”