Currently, even if you keep your accounts fully secured there’s no way to avoid privacy-related bugs. In recent times, the scary FaceTime spy bug was witnessed on iOS, and now, a major issue has been flagged on Android TV. Yes, the bug has been reported on Android TV photo sharing feature which has been temporarily shut down by Google because of a major security flaw. Considering this, Google disables Google Photos sharing to Android TV devices.
The bug exposes strangers’ private Google Photos. In fact, it shows these images as screensavers and has created panic among the users. Until the bug is fully resolute, Android TV owners won’t be able to set Google Photo albums as their screensaver or view pictures with Google Assistant on their set-top devices or smart TVs.
It is important to mention that the bug was first spotted by Twitter user Prashanth who noticed that, while trying to set up a screensaver on a Vu brand TV, they could see hundreds of other Google accounts, a bug that was also replicated by user Aarjith Nandakumar on his iFFalcon smart TV. It’s not clear what caused the bug. Prashanth posted two videos on Twitter clearly showing the bug. The first video shows him scrolling through multiple linked accounts while the other video shows enabling random accounts. He tweeted that private Google Photos of others were being shown to him in the ambient mode screensaver.
Just like any other smart home product, Android TV is controlled by the Google Home application. Prashanth notes that they couldn’t replicate the bug on another Android TV device (a Xiaomi Mi Box 3), and now that Google has temporarily blocked the feature on its end, it’s hard to see how widespread the problem is across the Android TV family.
It appears that the bug didn’t give access to the entire photo collection from those user accounts, but it only showed the account name and profile picture. Well, it’s still a pretty severe security break, even if it could have been much worse.
Here is what Google’s spokesperson said on this matter-
“We take our users’ privacy extremely seriously,” according to Google spokesperson. “While we investigate this bug, we have disabled the ability to remotely cast via the Google Assistant or view photos from Google Photos on Android TV devices.”
Until now, the users have to wait for resolving the bug. The company didn’t give any information of when the feature would return back to the platform, though it’s fair to estimate that it won’t be too long before this security error is patched up.