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Google Photos: Privacy Nightmare or Memory Bliss? [Opinion]

Google announced a lot of neat things at Google I/O last week, but the most news worthy item, in my opinion, has by far been Google Photos. The app/service is stunning for its ability to not only store all of your photos and videos for free, but also for creating animated GIFs, highlight videos, collages, and most importantly, letting you search through your images based on the content. It’s an insanely great product, but all of those features have been decried by some of the media over privacy concerns. Sure, Google lets you search through all of your photos based on the location, people in them, objects in them, etc., but that just means Google will be selling advertisements based on your photos, right?

Google Photos does a lot of really great things. First, you can upload your entire library of photos and videos for absolutely free. Have 1 TB of photos? Free. 1 GB. Free. In a world where Apple charges users $2 per month for an additional 15 GB of iCloud storage, free is pretty amazing. Of course, free has its limits (16 megapixel images and 1080p video), but for the vast majority of users, Google Photos will more than get the job done for free. If you are a professional photographer or you just want to have full quality copies of your images on Google’s servers, then you can upload at full quality using your Google Drive storage (which is super cheap at $2 per month for 100 GB and competitive at $10 per month for 1 TB).It’s not just all the storage that’s a big deal, though. The problem with pretty much every online photo service is that they let you get all of your stuff up there, but it’s still up to you to organize and catalog it. Some people like that (I used to love adding metadata to my iTunes library), but with pictures and videos, you are dealing with a ton of data that isn’t quick to categorize because it is not obvious how to do so. Should you organize photos by date, location, event, or just scroll until you find something?

Google takes care of this for you by giving you the power of Google Search for your photos. You can search for the place you took a photo, person in it, a particular object, or the date, making the task of finding photos so much easier. Google also makes GIFs out of burst shots, which brings life to moments that otherwise made me want to try and pick the best shot and lose the rest to the ether.

It’s not all GIFs and rainbows, though. There are videos, too. Google Photos automatically makes compilation videos that you can edit with different music and clips. During the upload of my priceless memories, Google made a music video out of the videos I took Christmas morning two years ago. I sent it to my family, which illicited responses like “I just died. I watched it three times,” and “I’m tearing up in public. This is too good.” I think I removed one clip and adjusted the music. Google did the rest. I would have probably gone back to watch those videos again, but I wouldn’t have put them together like that and I probably wouldn’t have felt compelled to share them with my family, which means those moments, despite their documentation, would have been mostly lost to them.

That’s the key to realizing what Google is offering here. It isn’t just free (or affordable) storage. It isn’t just a pretty app. It isn’t just the ability to quickly and easily categorize your photos. It’s the ability to relive and share memories in a way that requires little to no effort on my part at tremendous reward. No one else is offering this. Not Apple, not Samsung, not Dropbox, not Microsoft, or any of the myriad of failed and purchased photo services. Google nailed what Photos is about. Go take pictures and we’ll bring those moments back to life.

Now, the big question – Are there privacy concerns associated with giving a search engine/advertising company all of your precious memories? There has been a ton of speculation and outcry about using Photos, especially from the Apple community. Recently, Tim Cook railed against Google Photos, saying, “I’m speaking to you from Silicon Valley, where some of the most prominent and successful companies have built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information. They’re gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be. … You might like these so-called free services, but we don’t think they’re worth having your email or your search history or now even your family photos data-mined and sold off for God knows what advertising purpose. And we think someday, customers will see this for what it is.”

Ignoring that Cook incorrectly alleges that Google is going to advertise against your photos, he has a good point, right? Google is just out there trying to trade our personal data for services instead of selling them to us for an honest dollar like Apple does. Except for one small detail: the kind of services Google is offering can’t be purchased for money. No one is selling something like Google Now. You know why? It’s not because Google has all the good engineers on their payroll. Apple can’t sell you something like Google Now because Apple doesn’t have access to your data and they never will. You need personal data to have something like Google Now, where a computer uses information it already has about you to guess what other information you might like to see without you asking for it. You would certainly never see anything like Now on Tap, because that would violate the users’ privacy (maybe you could see a local version of Now on Tap that never leaves your device like fingerprints on iOS, but that may limit its use too severely).

Let’s take these privacy fears seriously for a moment, though. Google is not planning on using this information to sell advertisements, but let’s suppose they did decide to sell advertisements against photographs using their free tier. What would the result be? Google would use that information about your photos to sell you targeted advertisements. You would then have advertisements based on a huge swath of information about you. Creepy? A little, but also potentially very useful.

Google would know, for example, that every year you have a family trip to Georgia. Maybe shortly before that trip, Google shows you advertisements for ticket deals. Google would know that you have been taking pictures of different houses as you go house shopping and shows you advertisements for realty agencies, or furniture, or moving companies. Again, creepy? A little, but potentially helpful and certainly superior than seeing random advertisements that have nothing to do with anything you care about.

There will always be products that are sold for money and others that are sold for your information. The question is, who do you trust? Are you willing to see more personalized advertisements in exchange for being able to just type vacation 2007 and seeing all those photographs instantly without any organizational work on your part? Right now you are not even seeing ads for that, but that’s the “nightmare” future we are worried about. Google is not using this information to track you down and kill you; they are selling advertisements.

Personally, I think there is value to seeing advertisements for things that I actually like. When I watch Broad City on Hulu, I see ads for the Lexus IS and some Mountain Dew energy drink. I feel like those are for slightly different demographics (although admittedly I love the grill on the IS and my wife and I dance whenever that song comes on from the Mountain Dew commercial, so maybe Hulu knows me better than I know myself). A good advertisement might get me to buy something, or at least consider it or make me feel nice things about a company (which is not a person no matter what our government says). Having better ads that are actually appropriate for me sounds like it might be a good thing, especially on top of these computing services that know me and can help me get things done faster and better than I ever could before. I hope Google doesn’t ever sell advertisements against my photos. I’d rather those stay private forever, but I would definitely consider having those advertisements so that I can instantly find a picture and have compilation videos made for me to relive my favorite moments. That’s worth a lot to me.

Let us know in the comments if you are using Google Photos. If you are, what do you like about it? If not, is it because of privacy concerns or are you just happy with another product? If you’re not backing up your photos, shame on you.

  • Taglogical

    Firstly, Google is an advertising company and they generate their big bucks through advertising. This is how many Google products work: Sell Google your personal information and information you have on your family and friends etc., and in exchange, you can use given Google product.
    Google will own, in part, your information (in ever-lasting digital form). Google will assuredly change hands. Google’s rules will assuredly change (read: who knows what will happen with your information in the future). Error on the side of caution or yolo; the choice is yours 🙂

  • AndTheWorldMayNeverKnow

    I use the cloud to store certain things but I’m always leery about giving away my personal information. At this point they know so much about us through our cell phones and online services there’s not much you can do. I literally took about 2 years and disappeared from the internet completely, even now I use the services I use at a minimum, I rarely even comment on anything online and I don’t use facebook. The only thing you can really do at this point is just be careful what you share because we have all willingly traded access to our personal lives and information for cell phones, information at our fingertips and “staying connected”. No conspiracy theory, but if you think these big companies are our friends and aren’t sharing all of our info (including text, emails, pictures, location, biological info, etc.) with the government or private third party companies you’re a little blind to what’s really going on. Nobody is safe, they’ve been mining data since at least the 70’s now it’s just easier for them to use it how they want because of “terrorism” and domestic threats. Be safe…

  • DisQussIt

    The rules are simple. Put your data in the cloud never get it off the cloud. Microsoft has been telling us for years they OWN everything we put on the cloud, Email, Pictures, Idea’s ALL of it. Google is no different. Choose wisely you will not get a Do-Over. Delete does not work in the cloud universe.

  • RustyTechGuy

    I have always been a little skeptical about loading my personal pics onto any online service but I am giving Photos a shot. With today’s tech really of the only safe place for your data is well in your own head. And I am not sure about all you but I forget a lot these days…..wait what was we talking about..

  • ragnor

    What if someone hacks into Google. Would you say I am not so important that I don’t mind if my 15 year old girls photo is on sale in black market? I am just dumb that I think any company can be hacked. Its nothing but matter of time. And I also think Europe has issues with Google unlike USA because Europe is not scanning personal data.

  • Itchy_Robot

    They said the same thing about Gmail, but it ended up fine. Actually, Gmail has more potential to share exact personal info than movies or pictures do, and it is all spelled out in text already, not an algorithm trying to make sense out of pictures.

  • Gasaraki

    I hate Google Photos. I always try to switch back to Picasa Web albums to manage my photos but they make it so hard to do.

  • Laszlo Boocz

    Maybe the world needs a License Agreement before you start using the internet for the first time or something.

    “Welcome to the digital age! Click Accept/agree to Continue or Decline”

  • DanSan

    threw the AOSP gallery app on my nexus 6, cant stand using photos. I like my stuff organized by folder, not date taken. i use an instagram downloader app and save photos from gun pages on different rifle builds so i have some ideas and inspirations as im building a few right now. these photos usually have messed up dates on them so if i used photos they scattered around and i can never find them when i need to. i would use google photos if i can get it organize by folder, not date. until then i will keep using gallery as my main photo viewing app but i do have google photos set to sync my stuff.

    • You could always just search for rifle. I’ve been surprised by how well Google Photos finds items like glasses, sun flare, cameras, etc.

      • DanSan

        Tried it, works out but doesn’t show everything.Actually discovered more things than i expected. I guess thats one way to get around it but still prefer albums.

        I am also noticing that photos that are years old are somehow showing up as taken last week. all over the place.

  • Desertwhale

    Are you people actually getting ads in the photos app? I’ve always had ad blockers…so I have no clue which of my apps actually show ads.

  • Julian Coronado

    I honestly agree with this, and I’ve been trying to tell people the same thing! I hate seeing ads like, “BUY A GOLF KART ON AMAZON” or “ARE YOU OVER THE AGE OF 55 AND LOOKING FOR RETIREMENT?” I enjoy watching catered to me because I actually watch them. I don’t think Google would really use our data for anything else. But in the end, I’d rather trust GOOGLE over Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Facebook, Dropbox etc. because I trust Google, and if there were ever to be a breach, Google would have that covered up in an hour. DON’T BE EVIL!

    • tiger

      Don’t tell that to the Chinese human rights activists who died or got jailed because their GMAIL was hacked!

  • Trysta

    Full disclosure. I’m using photos and for the most part I like it. A very easy and free back up solution.

    BUT

    There really needs to be a sync pause or even better the ability to mark certain photos as do not sync. I’m surprised google hasn’t thought of this since they would have a lot to lose if a celebrity or politicians naughty photos got leaked via google photos. Basically I think that data mining in exchange for free services is ok as long as I get some control over the data I release. Right now with photos it is all or nothing.

  • another google “honey pot” for the life of sheeple.

  • androidkin

    Great post and very helpful.

  • Clift

    “The question is, who do you trust?”

    That’s actually why I trust Google more than, say, Verizon with my personal data. Verizon wireless could have a massive data breach, apologize, and move on. Most of us would be pretty pissed and I’m sure they’d lose some customers. But at the end of the day, they have contacts, coverage and sell a completely different service. People would just stop using their cloud storage and that’s about it. Now think for a second if Google has such a data breach… They could be finished, just like that. Dats is their business and their livelihood. I have to assume (or I choose to assume) that their security and actual practices are predicated on that knowledge, so they are better to “trust” with my data and privacy.

  • abazigal

    Is there a reason why it can’t be both? Their software is very good, no doubt about it, but we all know why Google is giving the equivalent of free photo storage, and it certainly isn’t out of the kindness in their hearts.

    Just use google services to the extent that you can tolerate parking your data with them and quit whining already.

  • ultravisitor

    Oh no. Google’s going to find out that I like concerts, dogs, food, and my nephews. What ever shall I do?

  • Cool

    Tim is mad because they only offer 5 GB of free storage. Now they need to reply in kind to Google’s offering to be competitive.

    I’m not worried about privacy at all with Google Photos. If I waswas worried about it then I wouldn’t be using any online services.

    • abazigal

      How so? Apple profits from the sale of hardware. If I buy a Mac, and use Google Photos, Apple still earns from that initial sale.

      • Cool

        Profits aren’t just from hardware sales though are they? If you can reduce your expenditures, then you profit more.

        For Apple to offer similar free storage of infinite picture and videos, they’d need more server farms, storage, cooling, electricity, the list goes on. That all costs money and eats into profits. And, yes, your scenario does sort of stave off that problem (only if Apple doesn’t actually provide more cloud storage, whether you use it or not, mind you). But I’m sure that the lion’s share of people out there with a Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, or other Apple products tend to use the Apple services that come along with them, including their cloud storage solution.

  • John E. Jablonski

    DRD Life Inc.

    Interesting that there’s no people here.

  • CoreRooted

    Honestly, the simple solution is to not keep information that you wouldn’t give out to “anyone” in the cloud. If there are photos that you don’t want the world to see, then don’t store them in a free, cloud based service. While many people complain about cloud based services and privacy, it is US, the users, that put that information there for the corporations to use. We willingly opt into things without reading the fine print and without understanding EULAs. It really isn’t hard to monitor and keep track of exactly what you are sharing and whom you are sharing it with provided that you take the time to actually read and learn about what the companies can do with said information.

    With that said, I do give a lot of information to Google in return for the ease of use in my daily life. However, I do hold my sensitive information back and use other methods to store that information (local cloud storage, firewalls, and such).

  • Shane Spencer

    I honestly don’t have any privacy concerns. Googles products are too useful and too helpful for me to be concerned about my information. Photos is awesome. I just got done with my honeymoon in the Smokeys and having all of those photos backed up without me having to do anything is awesome. The automatic photos it created were pretty amazing too.

  • Burny

    Tim Crook, rotten to the core. What a perfect fit for Apple.

  • rslh

    How do you tag people anymore on the web version? I’m so lost.

  • ClikFire _

    I love Google Giving me Relevant Information including Ads.

  • Maxx_75

    They aren’t releasing the data used for Google+ photo’s so whatever you already have there is still using your cap.

  • Bop it_Twis it_Pull it

    If you jumped straight to the comments: it’s nothing to worry about. <<< That's pretty Mich what the article is saying, just saved y'all alotta time bruh, +1

  • Greyhame

    Hey Tim Cook, you need to seriously just worry about your own problems. No one believes you aren’t in it for the millions upon millions of dollars you’re banking each year. iCloud photo hack anyone? Seriously. Stop being jealous of the enormity of what Google alone can accomplish. Stop with the FUD already. Kind of pathetic. If you really cared about your sheep, you wouldn’t gouge them so hard every year. …Just so transparent.

  • indiana85

    You know what’s really creepy with Google i got this pop up yesterday I guess they gave the google settings a visual re-do so I’m going through it & I’m deleting all the logs of data & location history & search history & I come upon a setting where they have saved ever voice transaction you use with google & I’m just listening to myself from months ago asking google questions & I thought that was so creepy to me lol that it saves every time you talk to Google

    • Oh snap I need to check this out now.

    • CoreRooted

      That’s actually been there since Google Now debuted (and possibly even before then, I don’t remember). You can opt out of it keeping your recordings with the understanding that voice capture can suffer because of it.

  • 213ninja

    good piece and i agree with your takes. i’m a google user, period. photos is just another awesome service they provide me. if i had privacy concerns i’d eliminate google from my life completely and stay offlline in general. photos is not a game changer in terms of how much info google has on you, they’ve always had it if you were a Google+ user. apple is just being apple, and their fans are just being their fans. i should also indicate that i changed out my Note 4 for an iPhone 6+ 2 weeks ago. my Google services run quite well on it, especially the new photos app.

  • drcaveman

    Too many words, not enough content.

  • Maria

    ▬▬▬▬★★★★ that’s a full enjoy with droid-life ^^–^^ ▬▬▬▬▬☛ Continue Reading

  • JSo

    All data is are ones and zeros. It’s not like someone at Google is sitting there looking through everyones personal photos one by one. I highly doubt anyone sees your photos but you and the people you share them with. Even if that weren’t true, I wouldn’t upload anything I wouldn’t want people seeing anyway. If someone has an issue because of privacy, they should just not use it. Or the internet for that matter.

  • d790

    Can i just say (off topic) i appreciate Ron being so active in the comments. pretty cool. Don’t burn me if this is the usual, i just don’t notice it if that is the case. Cheers

  • Marco Studenski

    Not an issue to me. But, Google has had this ability for years now. Did you know that you can ask Google Now to show you pictures of your cat, or your car, or of ‘so and so’ that you’ve named in Picasa? It’s called personal results. It’s a Google Now setting. This ‘new’ Photos feature is old for Google. It seems like they have polished it and decided to make it more mainstream, but it isn’t new. Personally, I have to admit that what Google knows about me is my own doing. Google is very privacy-friendly. But their products work better as you give them more info. I choose to give them the information. We all do.

  • Muji Samovar

    I think it’s a false dichotomy that Tim Cook tries to sell that Apple is a products company, and Google is an advertising company. Apple tried to create an advertising arm (iAd), failed miserably, and are now trying to pass it off as some sort of moral lowland they’d rather turn their nose up at.

    GPhotos is an already breathtaking service that has tons of low hanging fruit to improve. I can’t wait, and if that means I have to see a few ads…well, is that what free will is for?

    • michael arazan

      I had completely forgotten about iAd till you mention it, that was back in 2010 I think.

    • BryceAlmighty

      This is actually a really, really good point. If they would have succeeded, I’m sure they’d be no different from Google in taking all of your information and making targeted ads for your device.

      Plus, for what it’s worth, so what Google can now make ads based on what I like? I mean, I happened to find a store selling Moto 360s today for way over half off through one of those ads today. If anything I’m PRO targeted ads since they let me find stuff like that.

  • Aliyana

    ▬▬▬▬★★★★ that’s a full enjoy with droid-life _______ ▬▬▬▬▬☛ Continue Reading

  • I love the service and I don’t mind targeted ads, not concerned!

  • I hope they offer a “homepage” like they did with picasa, so you can easily share albums to “public”, ie i have pictures of my kid and would like to tell me family to go to my photos page and browse around

    • currently use SmugMug but its expensive, has a really really crappy app and an even crappier API

    • That would be great as I constantly get asked for Photos of the kids and have found that many of the photo sites are terrible.

  • jnt

    I have years of family photos I’ve been uploading to Google, between Picasa, G+, etc. It’s not my entire collection, but it’s a LOT. The absolute best thing to us so far is the search > facial recognition. It’s been awesome since we never tagged any photos.

  • gabe1989

    google goggles tech integrated into this i’m guessing.

  • I just started uploading my huge photo collection last night (over 20,000 photos) because of the moments that Google Photos can pick up. However I will not have auto upload from my phone because I like to keep the originals. I’m also an Amazon Prime member so I’m uploading all of the photos there as well while keeping a backup on my home computer.
    Amazon does not create anything like this and that is why I’m uploading to both and I know my family who are mainly Apple users found this and started to upload everything because of what it can provide.
    As far as advertising they can pull out faces but they can also pull out products so they will know what you are using or have in those pictures to possibly target you for advertising. This will give them more information but I’m not sure how much more this really gives.

  • Alec

    BUT…..Adblock!

  • Deeco

    A new update has been pushed….Anyone know the changelog?

  • Arnold

    Ron’s offering up some great posts recently. Well done sir.

    • Such insight. Much objectivity. Wow.

    • Miguel A.

      He always has a great Op-ed.

    • jamdev12

      So to this respect, I would like to share a couple of points when it comes to Google’s Search capabilities.

      1. Google uses servers and software to look for things in your data that are points of interests (or keywords).
      2. These are compared to a database and provide feedback to their other services.
      3. These services (ads for example) look at the data provided (keywords) and in return give results based on searches for advertisements that are part of the ad service.
      4. These ads, related in some fashion to what was searched, are then provided to you.

      So here are some assumptions I can make from these things:

      a. Not a single Google employee has complete access to this data.
      b. There are checks and balances within the system to keep people away from such data. For example, an employee can only get access to this data within the protocols of some security policy that is followed. Requiring more than 1 person as well as a manager, or higher level employee to sign off on such request.
      c. These requests would also be recorded and tracked.
      d. There is no direct data being transferred between the photo service and Google Ads service and the advertiser. I would think it would be similar to a Tor network where the endpoints don’t know about each other. So the only thing that Google is doing is providing you ads on services that the end company may have, but that company would never know anything about you because Google is not selling this data. What Google sells is advertisement space for companies that provide products and services and in return Google screens your data for keywords and matches those advertisements within it’s database to provide you targeted advertisement.

      • tlingitsoldier

        Well said. Too many people try to anthropomorphize Google (or other companies) as a person, or people. Google, the company, only knows the data you give it, and that data is stored in vast databases that are compared to other databases. Very rarely do human eyes have a need to see this data, because that’s what all their fancy algorithms are for.

        That’s part of the beauty of algorithms and machine learning: computers can help keep your private information secure, and do a better, faster job of giving you relevant information than a human could ever dream of.

      • Erick Wright

        all you can do is hope there isn’t an employee sitting on a chair with his legs on the desk just scrolling through your pictures and videos making sure those algorithms are working correctly

        • Hesedguy

          Actually I know someone who works on the Photos team, and they rarely look through pictures, and then it’s only when something breaks (like pictures aren’t auto rotating). AND they dread having to, not wanting to have images burned in that can’t be unseen.

          • Erick Wright

            Yep, I’m sure they so dread looking through 60% of all the photos taken in the world sounds like that would be horrible

      • Frettfreak

        nailed it and so did this article! Great read adn lots of valid points. That has alwasy been my POV as well. If i have to see ads (lets face it, these days its almost unavoidable) i would WAY rather see an ad for something i am interested in and might potentially be usefully to me. I am ok with that, and confident that google will have or is at least making their best effort to keep all my info private and secure.

    • mrjayviper

      is it great post because it’s pro-Google? honest question

  • lakerh8r

    I post what I wear, eat, do, etc (in exquisite detail)… on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine, Reddit, Imgur, and Pinterest. I search using the Chrome Browser on an hourly basis. I have automated orders on Amazon. But I can’t believe that Google would try to pry into my personal life to sell advertisements!

  • Purple Pride

    Love the new Google Photos, but it isn’t picking up the right “Date Taken” or “Created Date” or whatever it is using to sort by date on some of my photos and videos. I’ve been able to fix a handful of photos using MS Photo Gallery, but for the most part I can’t fix the ones it says I took the day I uploaded them instead of placing them on the date they were actually taken. Does that make sense? Anyone else running into this? Suggestions?

    • Where are you uploading from and how did those pictures get on that device? Dates have been mostly correct for me.

      • Purple Pride

        I was just dragging them from a folder in Windows onto the Google Photo web interface. Drag and drop onto Chrome. The dates have been mostly correct for me too, but there’s been maybe 5%-10% that are shown as if they were taken today instead of months ago. And if you right click on the file and go to properties Windows appears to show the correct date yet Photos doesn’t. I was able to fool it with a few photos using the editor in MS Photo Gallery, but that doesn’t always work either. It’s a weird deal.

    • They also took away “Organize by date” for existing photos. Originally, Albums could be sorted by this and/or manually from within G+. Now the options are nowhere to be found. I hope they add this with an update.

      • Purple Pride

        I’ve noticed the lack of album sorting as well and I also hope that is something coming soon.

    • Greyhame

      I’m having some odd occurrences as well. For example, I’ll go to the Places option within Search. I’ll go to my hometown, which shows a photo of my Grandmother and my kid. When the album opens up, that photo is nowhere to be found, as well as the fact that there should be a ton more photos shown as taken from there.

  • mickeyB88

    the app is really useful but I don’t think i’ll ever be comfortable with people telling me i should like targeted advertisements. I will never click on them. I don’t care. I don’t want them. I do not like them.

  • Walter Partlo

    It is funny that Apple is playing concerned about your photos.

    • michael arazan

      Apple, because the celebrity iHack never happened. 1st thing happened afterwards, Jennifer Lawrence sues Google for 100 Mil? Talk about sheep, when she should of thrown lawsuits at Apple.

      Since when does Apple have ethics anyway? This is just a jab to his sheep to keep them away from Google services. Surprised Google hasn’t hit them for defamation and slander suits for all they pull.

      • I think this is happening more because of the Apple users who are looking to use this. My family all use Apple products and they are starting to upload photos to this. It reminds me of the Facebook Year in review video except better!

        • Frettfreak

          way better IMO.. cause its not just the photos you shared with the people you dont really care about.. its all of them! lol

    • King Butt-Touches

      Social engineering isn’t hacking, kiddo.

    • Tyler Durden

      They were never hacked anyways. More to do with idiots having easy passwords.

    • tomn1ce

      isn’t Apple posting photos taken with the iphone 6 on billboards? For what I gather those who took the photos don’t know or didn’t know that Apple was going to do this. Talk about privacy.

      • Frettfreak

        ? seriously? i kinda figured it was just apple going around and taking pics or having users send in pics??? wow thats kinda crazy

      • tartooob

        That’s not correct, Apple have communicted with these people and took thier permission.

    • Chris Bailey

      I came here to say this.

  • Mordecaidrake

    I’d rather them not sell me things based on my photos, however if they’re the only ones seeing that data I guess I’m okay with it. I want my stuff private, but if Google goes okay he likes The Red Sox and comic books, here’s some baseball adds and show times for the next Marvel movie. Now if they give that information to someone else to target the adds, I’m out. I trust Google, I don’t trust another computer. Maybe I’m the moron? But I also look at it, like this, I’ve been backing my photos up to Google for years now, never had a problem. Can Apple say the same thing?

    • niuguy

      Again, I’d rather get advertisements for things I’m interested in than for tampons. I have a bunch of dog photos. ….send me dog related advertisements. Better than cats adverts!

  • raddacle

    Currently using Dropbox for my Photos for one reason, it syncs back locally to my computer and other devices. Until Google can offer something like this, the benefits aren’t strong enough for me.

    • Mordecaidrake

      Google Drive? And there’s the Photo desktop app https://support.google.com/photos/answer/6156099?hl=en

      • You could make sync work with drive, but it’s messy. Changes don’t always go either way. And the desktop app is upload only.

        • Mordecaidrake

          Upload only for now I’d imagine, and everything’s accessible through the web page.

          • raddacle

            Even though I would love two way sync, I doubt Google would do it- and if they did they wouldn’t support it for very long. They have yet to produce one solid and perfect Windows program. It’s as if Google engineers are building everything solely for Chromebook users, yet at every event they have they’re sporting macbooks…

          • Mordecaidrake

            I think Google Drive works exceptionally well, at least for my needs. I dropped Dropbox due to their web app and how seamless it worked, plus way more free storage.

    • Yeah I’m using Dropbox for that reason too. Upload to Dropbox, then down to computer, then up to Google. Messy, but backups are your friend.

      • raddacle

        Yea I did that for a little bit, using Photos and Dropbox. Then I noticed the weakened battery life thanks to Play Services. So I guess I’ll just stick with one backup service at a time

      • I’m doing the same thing except with Copy. I like having the originals and I’m uploading them to Amazon as I’m a Prime member.

    • asdf

      doesn’t google drive sink to your desktop? and photos are viewable from there?

      • You can connect Photos and Drive, but not all changes get saved both places so it’s not a perfect solution.

  • Travillion

    I love what they did with the Photos app. I hate “tagging” people in my online photos because of privacy concerns, but this doesn’t require tagging to work. It just recognizes the faces. I open the app, push the search button, and my wife and daughter’s faces just pop up and with a click I can access all my photos that contain those faces. Sure, there is probably something bad that someone malicious could use with that recognition technology even without linked identities, but I feel like that is not an immediate concern.

    • Apparently naming is a heavily requested feature that they’re considering. I’d like it. And they said they’d keep it disconnected from Plus, which would be great as well.

      • niuguy

        While you cant name manually, it does recognize many names. Some I have no idea how.

      • Cory S

        I also wish you could combine multiple “people” into one. it does really well for most people, but my wife has probably 9 different profiles in the photos app…one for each of her hairstyles over the last few years.

        • haha yeah that too. It also has a cat and dog section, both of which are pictures of my dog 🙂

  • Smeckle

    I had Google Photos go through and upload everything off my phone and then went through the animations, etc. and generally didn’t really find them interesting. But then Photos created a video compilation of my infant son and me, a mixture of videos of us walking around together and of me aiming the camera straight down at him while he lies looking up at me gesturing and babbling. Brought tears to me eyes, and still does now thinking about it. That’s what sold me on Google Photos. I wish I could request Google to make more at-will, rather than waiting for them to randomly show up. Certainly better than anything I could have made.

    • Exactly. I hope they bring some of the video stuff making/editing to the web, too.

  • I love it. Much better than the previous version

  • I love it! Now i’m uploading all my photos to google photos.

    Also like the way you can search for any photo category. Just typing “party” and all party photos come out. Nice!

  • Eddie Roseberry

    Nailed it.

  • Cameron Laudick

    Single best google app ever outside of gmail and maps. As long as my boss/mom can’t see my pictures I don’t really care about other privacy concerns. Sell my data for this great app!!

  • rogers

    Doesn’t bother me, I’ll just create a separate, un-synced folder on my phone for all my dickpics.

    • Just don’t name it “dickpics” lol

    • Travillion

      I wonder how Google would categorize those?

      • Hot dogs are food so maybe there? 🙂

    • guest

      who cares of your dickpics anyway?

      • Desertwhale

        I do

      • michael arazan

        Google does, so they sync up match.com, cialis, and trojan ads to his account when he uses their services

        • DainLaguna

          I seriously hope this is sarcasm

      • Bet Tim Cook would like to see them.

        • Tyler Durden

          Just because somebody is gay, doesn’t mean they want to see every guys dick.

          • TC Infantino

            LOL A gay guy is still a guy. I don’t complain if I get unexpected naked pics from chicks. So, I would bet it would be the same for a gay dude and pics of guys.

          • i dunno. ask bruce the cross-dresser.

          • Tyler Durden

            It’s Caitlyn, you imbecile.

          • Tyler Durden

            And she’s still into women. Idiot x2 you are.

        • +1

          cook’s a pole puffer.

      • bruce jenner.

    • James

      Must be a pretty small folder.

      • Desertwhale

        Each of his dick pics are 37kb in size. Mine top out at about 900 megs.

        • me, i’m packin’ a TB.

          • Desertwhale

            Dunno about that. your profile pic is pretty white (not black). Ohhhh! Ohhhhh! Show me your O face!

      • jeff manning

        A micro folder

      • i see what you did there.

      • Laszlo Boocz

        bahaha

    • jeff manning

      Why make an un-synced folder when you can have gifs of your dick though?

    • TC Infantino

      And you will start getting advertisements for male enhancement products… I’m not being a smartass. Sadly, those are the ads I am getting. :'(

      • stop buying VIAGRA from canadian pharmacies.

        • TC Infantino

          I’ve wondered if anyone really calls their doctor if the effects last longer than 4 hours. LOL

          • Averix

            Talk to some paramedics. You’ll hear horror stories.

          • TC Infantino

            Ah, I have a nurse in the family. I need to talk to her and see if she has some stories.