The price you’ll pay for Google’s ‘free’ photo storage

“There’s a new, easier and free way to store and organize your photos, but beware of the fine print,” Kathleen Burke reports for MarketWatch. “”

“Google rolled out Google Photos, its stand-alone photo storage app, last week. The app was originally run within Google+, but has been separated and developed with additional features. As with many new technologies, however, it comes with new risks to privacy and security,” Burke reports. “‘Convenience cuts both ways,’ said Christopher Budd, a global threat communications manager at Trend Micro. ‘Things that make it convenient to share what I want in ways that I want also make it convenient to share in ways I don’t want.’ … ‘When there’s not a money cost, there is more likely a cost in terms of the information that you’re sharing,’ he said.”

“Google’s privacy policy states that it collects information such as the type of device you use, websites you visit or your physical location,” Burke reports. “The policy says the information is used to protect and develop new services and customize advertising.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A picture tells a thousand words. Tens of thousands of pictures? Of your entire family? Geotagged and facially-recognized? By the world’s foremost online advertising conglomerate? Sheesh!

That’s right, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

All that said: Google Photos is creepy and we’d never use it due to massive privacy concerns, but our tests have shown that it can automatically create interesting, fun, and coherent animations, collages and more with aplomb; in fact, Apple should be embarrassed. Hopefully, this spurs Apple to do a much better job with their own photo services. Start copying some of these features, Apple. We’d love to use them in a safe, secure environment where our photos aren’t being mined for marketing data.


Apple CEO Tim Cook champions privacy, blasts ‘so-called free services’ – June 3, 2015
Passing on Google Photos for iOS: Read the fine print before you sign up for Google’s new Photos service – June 1, 2015
Why Apple’s Photos beats Google Photos, despite price and shortcomings – May 30, 2015
Is Apple is losing the photo wars? – May 29, 2015
How Google aims to delve deeper into users’ lives – May 29, 2015
Apple CEO Cook: Unlike some other companies, Apple won’t invade your right to privacy – March 2, 2015
Survey: People trust U.S. NSA more than Google – October 29, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for government, police – even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
U.S. NSA watching, tracking phone users with Google Maps – January 28, 2014
U.S. NSA secretly infiltrated Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say – October 30, 2013
Google has already inserted some U.S. NSA code into Android – July 10, 2013
Court rules NSA doesn’t have to reveal its semi-secret relationship with Google – May 22, 2013
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014


    1. i am in complete agreement on these points, however, there is an interesting point that mdn touches upon: hoping apple does a better job on their photo services.

      why the hell is it that apple excels in integrating magnificent hardware and easy to use software but absolutely sucks in delivering software based services ?

      they have been consistently slow on the uptake and often terrible at service delivery from the get-go.

      recall steve jobs rant about a service gone awry ? “what is this software supposed to do?” he asked, when given the answer from the team members working on it, his reply was “then why the FSCK doesn’t it do that?”

      apple maps is another example – deeply flawed at the beginning – it never should have seen daylight until it was much better.

      other organizations seem to manage it, why can’t apple?

      lack of talent? doubt it

      lack of commitment? i wonder

      they need to step up their game.

      1. Also interesting that MDN is calling for Apple to “copy” Google’s photo features, yet MDN is the greatest drum beater about Samsung copying the iPhone’s look. #irony

        1. Also interesting is how Apple is somehow unable to fix .Mac (iSync, Galleries, iWeb, iDisk), or support legacy OS users, all the while sitting on the the world’s largest pile of cash ever. The obvious answer is they just don’t give a damn. Apologists continue paying premium prices for gutted services (iCloud) and mere assertions. No need to do more. Cook is laughing all the way to the bank.

  1. People who use Google around me compromise my privacy even while I avoid ,Google like the plague they are. Now I have to try to avoid Google users like the Plague to protect my privacy. If I notice a business person using a Google device, I avoid doing business with that person. It is a lot harder to identify the person uninformed or unconcerned enough to use Google products on their i devices.

    Please wake up people!

    1. Hmmm…

      What am I missing here about the privacy issue? I go to a store and they have cameras. i drive on the freeway and there are cameras. I stop at an intersection and there are cameras. I go to work and there are cameras (and a drone flying above me). I walk in public and there are people all around me with cameras.

      Maybe because I will be dead eventually and can’t protect my property with artillery is because I don’t see an issue.

      Maybe because I bank, and shop, and plan trips on the internet is why I don’t see an issue. Come on people, big brother and your neighbor has always been watching you. You don’t think crooks don’t have your identity? Wake up, please.

      Google and advertisers are the last one’s I am worried about.

        1. Nicely said.

          Unfortunately, most people don’t really understand just how much useful data exists, particularly when there’s creativity applied because of the motivation from profit.

          For example, applying simple geolocation on a photo stream feed will reveal when a family’s away from home, which makes the household more susceptible to burglary.

          And it does happen: we met a couple a few years ago who had their home opened up while they were away by a particularly brazen individual.

          The neighbors did see activity at their house, but he told the neighbors that they had died in a car crash and as their son, he was working the Estate … all as he proceeded to have multiple regional antique dealers come visit the house, buy their antique furniture and haul it away.

          He pocketed ~$100K from cash sales before disappearing.

          This is something to think about before posting that next “We’re on Vacation!” photo on Social Media.


        1. How am I part of the problem? I dont think I am an apologist, I think I am a realist. Is it because I go to work everyday and you do something different? Why aren’t you part of the problem?

    2. BTW, how many here don’t have a gmail account? And if you don’t have a gmail account then please tell me where you can get an Apple email account? Yea, that’s what I thought, there ain’t none. So who do you trust your email to, and you dont think every server in the country sees your email?

  2. Anybody know how to get this to work? I have 11,000+ photos on my iP5S and only a few (<300) seem to upload (Dec 2014 to present) to the Google service. Tried Amazon and they want me to specify which photo individually to upload. Really? 11,000+? One at a time?

    So, I don't have enough room on my MacBook Air to hold an iPhoto library so am looking for another way to backup my photos and maybe even share them. Don't want to pay anything, yet, so this free some sounds interesting but it doesn't seem to work.

    BTW, I am not a dummy, I do have a NAS so I am not worried about backup, just looking for an iPhoto (Photos) replacement since my Mac isn't capable of holding it (2011 variety so I don't feel like a $2000 MacBook Pro right now).

    1. IPhoto can easily handle more than 11,000 photos. My main iPhoto library is about that size and there are several other larger libraries that I keep on external hard drives and access when I need them.

      Just use an external iPhoto library on your NAS, but keep a smaller iPhoto library on your MacBook air for the pictures that you need access to most frequently.

      1. Yes, I know iPhoto can handle more photos. It’s not iPhoto that is the problem. Read my post. It’s the MacBook Air. It’s limited to 256GB and I dont have room for the photos. i used to have it upgraded to 480GB but that Flash Drive from OWC broke twice so I am back to 256 GB and $600 bucks poorer.

        I did not buy an Air so I would be strapped down to a NAS or have two 1TB drives dangling. BTW, 11,000 photos does not require that much storage.

        I was going to give a cloud solution a try to give me access to the photos anytime I was connected when away from home. I can’t predict which photos I will need or want to view at any given moment.

        I know, there are pros and cons to everything, just trying one more option before I spend $2000. Anybody got an extra $2K or all you guys just a bunch of jerks with nothing but wise cracks and calling me BS and an apologist? Got any other names you need to get off you whimpy, arrogant chests?

    2. If you can afford a cup of coffee out each month then get iCloud and upload them all there. Set your Macbook Air and iPhone to hold lower res photos while the full res versions are in the cloud.

      If you can’t afford it then feck knows how you got an iPhone and a Macbook Air

      1. You know, I can probably “afford” a whole lot more than you can imagine. I can afford things because I don’t waste my money on cups of coffee, I do waste my time on money on shit from OWC and other crap so I would like to try something free for a change. Got problem with that?

        Now if you want to say you get what you pay for and free stuff don’t work then fine. I was just asking politely if anyone has gotten any of these free services to work. All I get from these whiners is crap.

        Thanks Apple users. Sorry my choice of hardware brought me to this group.

      2. For the record I splurged. I bought 200GB iCloud. Just got off the phone with Apple Tech Support. Since my upload internet connection is below 1MB per second I can’t use iCloud.

        Anybody got better ideas? This is the fastest internet available in this part of the States.

  3. Have you been ‘Googled’?

    ‘Googled’ once meant to find relevant information through a search of web pages using the Google search engine by the user.

    ‘Googled’ now means to have all personal user data mined, as a result of Google web searches or use of Google apps, and be targeted by ads relevant to the personal information gleaned through such searches and use of apps, and have such information sold to 3rd parties.

    If you use Google search or apps, you’ve been ‘Googled’!

    You’re not using Google.
    Google is using you.


  4. Soon I’ll have lots of ads regarding laxatives, and diarrhea relief products. I’m uploading all my daily facial painful bowel movements to Google Unlimited Photo storage and sharing! 💩🙊

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