Google Photos And Your Privacy | Should You Be Worried ?
Google offer free and unlimited space to automatically back up all of your photos and videos online. There is no definitive answer to the question of whether you should be worried about your privacy if you decide to use the service. It all depends on how much you care about privacy in general, and how much you trust Google specifically.
What’s the risk?
You may wonder what the fuss is about anyway. So what if Google scans your photos to find out that you like to wear Nike trainers, and then uses that information to target a Nike ad at you? Photos actually has the potential to enhance Google Now considerably. The more Google learns about you, the more accurate and helpful its predictions or suggestions will be. Where’s the harm?
The risks here reach beyond a simple point of principle about personal privacy, though that will be reason enough for some people to avoid the service. Information can leak, or be stolen. Companies can share data behind our backs. Government agencies can snoop. Google can decide to leverage legal rights you’ve effectively already given it at any time. That doesn’t mean to say that it will ever happen, but you can’t rule it out.
Realistically, it comes down to trust. Do you trust Google?
The question is, do you trust Google?
If you were already using the backup service in Google+ for photos on Android, then Photos is nothing new. If you’re happy to use Google Maps, Gmail, Google Now, and all the other services that Google offers for free, then you’re already putting your trust in the company. It is already collecting data about you and using it in ways that you may not understand. It’s worth doing Google’s Privacy Checkup to find out more.
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You could argue that it doesn’t matter anyway, because everyone else is doing the same thing, and that’s hard to disagree with. If you browse online without protection, then you are being tracked. If you communicate online without encryption, then your messages aren’t really private. If you use Facebook and Twitter, you are giving away lots of information about yourself and you don’t know for sure how it will be used. At the end of the day, many of us will see the convenience and quality of a service like Google Photos as a fair trade-off for giving up tighter control over our privacy.
What about you? Will you be using Google Photos? Why or why not?
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