ANDROID TV isn't the most talked about, glamorous part of the Mountain View portfolio, but it's used by a surprising number of people, thanks to its native inclusion in several big brands of smart television, not to mention streaming devices like the venerable Nvidia Shield TV.
But the Big G has brought it front and centre today after it emerged that the company has had to block the photo sharing feature between Google Photos and televisions, thanks to a security issue which has left albums available to other users without permission.
Two brands of television - Vu and iFFalcon - have manifested the problem, which occurs when you try and set a screensaver for your device, with you being offered photos from other Google accounts than your own.
Android Police reports that a Twitter user first uncovered the bug when he was faced with a scrolling list of accounts of people he'd never heard of, although access to the photos themselves was blocked.
When he reported it to Google, he was referred back to the TV manufacturer, which is a fat lot of good, given that Vu didn't actually write the OS. Google's wishy-washy response department said:
"We take our users' privacy extremely seriously. 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."
Probal Bose from Vu Technologies added: "After verifying the incident we have informed our customers that it was not an issue of Vu Television but it was software malfunction of the Google Home App. We take your privacy very seriously."
Yet again, this isn't an example of a breach, but it is an example of something that left unchecked could become a breach, because not only is there a security update, but there's a very visible indicator for bad actors that something is very wrong.
Google Photo access will be restored to Android TV once the bug has been fully squished. μ
Now you can watch documentaries about horribly disfigured people whenever you like
Brad to the bone
Being in a minority of one doesn't make you right
WeWork needs a rework