Is Google Photos private? Who can see my photos?

Google Photos is the default photo management service in the Mountain View firm’s ecosystem. Is this service confidential? Who can see your photos? Answers in the article.

Google Photos was born from Google+. Originally, the service was included in the social network. With the removal of the latter, Google decided to keep Google Photos separate. Today, Google Photos is the “default” tool for all Android smartphone photo and video management, with cloud sync, smart search, and more. But is it secure? Is it private? And above all, who can see your photos?

Overview and basic concepts of Google Photos

Google Photos is designed to let you access your photos on your device. You can also create a backup of your snapshots. When first opened, the app gives you an option to backup Google Photos library. With a backup, you can view them on all devices synced with a Google account. Thanks to the cloud, it reclaims space on your devices. It incorporates a powerful search function to select individual photos. Without enabling the backup option, it is a photo viewer.

Note: the backup function of each device is individually adjustable, but not the synchronization functionality. In fact, photos backed up to the Google Photos library will automatically appear on all paired devices, even with the “Backup and sync” option disabled. Images from the Google Photos library sync seamlessly.

Is Google Photos private?

With or without the backup, the photos remain accessible only by their owner. Unlike social networks, your photos do not reflect your Google profile. Thus, the photos added or saved are confidential, unless they are shared manually.

Because that is where the problem lies. Indeed, when you tap on the share icon in Google Photos, the interface offers you an option to create a link. Once created, you can share this link with anyone outside of Google Photos. Knowing however that now, anyone with access to this link can see the shared photo. Be careful who you give this link to!

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