Google Saturday acknowledged that a glitch with its Google Docs utility exposed some private documents.
According to PCWorld, Google maintained that only a small number of users were affected by the problem which saw 0.05 percent of all documents within the system affected and that the files were exposed only on a limited basis.
Chandler, a Google employee responded to a user's question about Google Docs. The user said that everyone had been removed from his/her collaborator list on a widely shared document, causing a huge inconvenience. When asked how could this have happened, Chandler said the problem was caused following a fix to an issue that Google released late Friday night. He detailed that the bug affected a small percentage of users who may have shared permissions between some documents in their account without their knowledge.
There was then an announcement made via the Apps Dashboard which explained that the inadvertent sharing was limited to people with whom the account owner, or a collaborator with sharing rights, had previously shared a document. The issue only occurred if multiple documents and presentations were selected from the documents list and the sharing permissions changed. Spreadsheets were not affected. To help fix the problem, Google used an “automated process” to remove collaborators and viewers from the documents that were affected.
Before you lose your hair over whether or not your documents were shared with the wrong people, check your email. If you didn’t receive an email from Google, then your documents weren’t affected. Check out the Apps Dashboard notice here.