How safe are family pics on google photos.com

edavt04

macrumors member
Original poster
May 12, 2016
51
2
I store kid’s pics and videos on google photos.com (as well as on 3 external hard drives). My husband thinks its not safe to store them in the cloud as they can get stolen (it’s set for the highest privacy setting, but still). I worry… what if perverts get hold of them? What can they do with them?
But in the same time I'd be devastated if our family's precious memories were to get lost should something happen to all 3 hard drives...

I guess I am asking how safe do u think the data is in the cloud? I don't care about google photos.com analizing photos to create ads directed to me as I am an intelligent consumer and I will decide what to buy. But safety? What can people do with them?
 

edavt04

macrumors member
Original poster
May 12, 2016
51
2
I think you will be fine. Google's servers are safe and secure. I use Google Photos to store all of my photos and I feel safe about them.

https://www.google.com/about/datacenters/inside/data-security/
Thx Hesatter...Equifax data breach just happened in the US.... I guess my question is ... what can people do with the pics? There's ALWAYS a potential personal data can be stolen... With Equifax it was a big deal as your identity can get stolen (which happened to my husband). But what can kid's pics and videos be used for in case it does get stolen...
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
5,477
8,372
Glasgow, UK
Beyond analysing them for targeted marketing then Google servers are as secure as anyone else's.

The value on the open market for images that are of little blackmail leverage is negligible so I doubt there is a measurable risk there - note I am speculating here. Were they pictures of a politician in a compromising position, different story.

You are as safe as can be on there. In fact I would go so far as to say the weakest link isnt the Google infrastructure but is actually your laptop/desktop at home sat behind a crappy consumer grade firewall.

Google have one of the most valuable brands on the planet to protect. So they take that seriously ergo they take your content protection as seriously as they can.
 

edavt04

macrumors member
Original poster
May 12, 2016
51
2
Beyond analysing them for targeted marketing then Google servers are as secure as anyone else's.

The value on the open market for images that are of little blackmail leverage is negligible so I doubt there is a measurable risk there - note I am speculating here. Were they pictures of a politician in a compromising position, different story.

You are as safe as can be on there. In fact I would go so far as to say the weakest link isnt the Google infrastructure but is actually your laptop/desktop at home sat behind a crappy consumer grade firewall.

Google have one of the most valuable brands on the planet to protect. So they take that seriously ergo they take your content protection as seriously as they can.
Oh, wow, what an encouraging reply! Thank you!
Is YOuTUbe (for our short family videos)set on highest privacy setting as secure as google.photos.com? I heard it's owned by Alphabet who owns google photos.com AND youtube.
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
6,596
2,350
I store kid’s pics and videos on google photos.com (as well as on 3 external hard drives). My husband thinks its not safe to store them in the cloud as they can get stolen (it’s set for the highest privacy setting, but still). I worry… what if perverts get hold of them? What can they do with them?
But in the same time I'd be devastated if our family's precious memories were to get lost should something happen to all 3 hard drives...

I guess I am asking how safe do u think the data is in the cloud? I don't care about google photos.com analizing photos to create ads directed to me as I am an intelligent consumer and I will decide what to buy. But safety? What can people do with them?
Some of our Services allow you to upload, submit, store, send or receive content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps). Some Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that has been provided to that Service. Also, in some of our Services, there are terms or settings that narrow the scope of our use of the content submitted in those Services. Make sure you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services.

https://www.google.com/policies/terms/
 

edavt04

macrumors member
Original poster
May 12, 2016
51
2
Some of our Services allow you to upload, submit, store, send or receive content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps). Some Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that has been provided to that Service. Also, in some of our Services, there are terms or settings that narrow the scope of our use of the content submitted in those Services. Make sure you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services.

https://www.google.com/policies/terms/
The BOLD TEXT is only confusing me. Plain English please!!
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,850
734
Auckland
Google's servers are big, safe and secure. They are also a big target. Time and again we see big targets being compromised so it is a reasonable expectation that at some point Google's will too. Fortunately there is a huge amount of data there so anyone getting inside is not likely to be able to download everything and peruse at leisure. I'd suggest certain content types and individual's accounts will be first targets. Random family images less so.

To be honest if you have your 3 HDDs sufficiently separated to preclude loss by fire or natural disaster (eg flooding of your house), and encrypted to prevent loss by theft, then I wold be less concerned about having ANY data on them held in ANY cloud. No reason to take a (real, non-zero) risk if it brings no benefit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kenoh

edavt04

macrumors member
Original poster
May 12, 2016
51
2
Google's servers are big, safe and secure. They are also a big target. Time and again we see big targets being compromised so it is a reasonable expectation that at some point Google's will too. Fortunately there is a huge amount of data there so anyone getting inside is not likely to be able to download everything and peruse at leisure. I'd suggest certain content types and individual's accounts will be first targets. Random family images less so.

To be honest if you have your 3 HDDs sufficiently separated to preclude loss by fire or natural disaster (eg flooding of your house), and encrypted to prevent loss by theft, then I wold be less concerned about having ANY data on them held in ANY cloud. No reason to take a (real, non-zero) risk if it brings no benefit.
Good thinking there!! My external hard drives are 2 Seagates and a G-drive.
I live in an area prone to earthquakes. So I guess I want to separate the drives into maybe 2 safes. Any recommendation on fireproof/earthquake safe?
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
I always keep one external drive in my safe deposit box at the bank; once a month I swap out drives, bringing home the one that has been in the box and updating it/backing it up, etc., and at the beginning of the following month take it back to the bank and put it in the box, removing the other one to bring home. This system has worked pretty well for me for a while. With bus-driven drives being pretty small and easily portable these days, it's an easy way to give my important image and data files another level of protection in case of disaster at home.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MCAsan

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
37,864
27,159
Behind the Lens, UK
Good thinking there!! My external hard drives are 2 Seagates and a G-drive.
I live in an area prone to earthquakes. So I guess I want to separate the drives into maybe 2 safes. Any recommendation on fireproof/earthquake safe?
I keep one back up at work. One at home along with the original.
I prefer to control my own data.
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
5,477
8,372
Glasgow, UK
I use a NAS drive with RAID (fault tolerance -had 2 drives go T.U. on me last month), backed up nightly to a local external encrypted drive (protection for NAS going T.U.) and then once a week, I backup to Amazon Glacier (fire, flood protection).

This is more than enough for my needs however, I need to review it as my images archive is approaching a TB in size.
[doublepost=1516743616][/doublepost]
Oh, wow, what an encouraging reply! Thank you!
Is YOuTUbe (for our short family videos)set on highest privacy setting as secure as google.photos.com? I heard it's owned by Alphabet who owns google photos.com AND youtube.
To be honest, I dont know about YouTube someone else can answer better than I can. I just assume everything on YouTube is publicly accessible.

We had an issue at work 2 years ago where someone was uploading content about our products and setting them to private but basically anyone with the secret URL could access it and so it got out. Generally speaking anything relying on basic obfuscation for security is not to be trusted. A kin to telling someone "shhh... can you keep a secret...." i.e. never stays secure for long.
 
Last edited:

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,850
734
Auckland
Good thinking there!! My external hard drives are 2 Seagates and a G-drive.
I live in an area prone to earthquakes. So I guess I want to separate the drives into maybe 2 safes. Any recommendation on fireproof/earthquake safe?
Nothing is earthquake-proof. Fireproof is by time (ie a 4hr safe etc). My backups are Office, Home (30km from the office), and my daughters house (used to be in a different hemisphere but now she is more local so I'll have to reconsider). The Home and Office backups are real-time, the remote disk is updated approx every 4-6mths. I am in New Zealand but not in a high-risk earthquake area - I am surrounded by volcanos though :)

TBH my next step maybe to make an encrypted disk of my images and upload that to Dropbox...
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
5,477
8,372
Glasgow, UK
Nothing is earthquake-proof. Fireproof is by time (ie a 4hr safe etc). My backups are Office, Home (30km from the office), and my daughters house (used to be in a different hemisphere but now she is more local so I'll have to reconsider). The Home and Office backups are real-time, the remote disk is updated approx every 4-6mths. I am in New Zealand but not in a high-risk earthquake area - I am surrounded by volcanos though :)

TBH my next step maybe to make an encrypted disk of my images and upload that to Dropbox...
Maybe consider glacier. Very cheap to store there. Cost comes in when you recover data - something you shouldnt have to do very often if ever.
 

Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
695
151
Your pictures are not really yours, if you host them with Google! Yes, you still retain the intellectual rights to them, but they assert the right to use of them, in whatever way they see fit, and they can also share them freely with their business partners.
I’ll add a bit to this post. I’ve used Google Photos for one trip. 6 weeks in the Rockies. About 2 weeks into the trip I was startled to find a few of my pics on Google's image search. If you don’t mind the potential of your kids showing up there, and perhaps their images downloaded, you’re fine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alexander.Of.Oz

Alexander.Of.Oz

macrumors 68040
Oct 29, 2013
3,018
11,252
Adelaide, Australia
I’ll add a bit to this post. I’ve used Google Photos for one trip. 6 weeks in the Rockies. About 2 weeks into the trip I was startled to find a few of my pics on Google's image search. If you don’t mind the potential of your kids showing up there, and perhaps their images downloaded, you’re fine.
That's a bit spooky, if you wanted or expected some privacy of those images! :eek:
 
  • Like
Reactions: mollyc and kenoh

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,789
33,746
Boston
I was startled to find a few of my pics on Google's image search.
This is why I don't use Google services, you give them the right to use the images and I choose not give up my rights in that way. I have no security concerns regarding my images, but I do have a problem with Google's data mining/advertsing practices.
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
5,477
8,372
Glasgow, UK
I’ll add a bit to this post. I’ve used Google Photos for one trip. 6 weeks in the Rockies. About 2 weeks into the trip I was startled to find a few of my pics on Google's image search. If you don’t mind the potential of your kids showing up there, and perhaps their images downloaded, you’re fine.
Wow that sounds scary! On the image search, did you validate it showed private images when someone other than you searched? Were the results using your images as you were doing the search so it included your images in your results?
 

Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
695
151
Wow that sounds scary! On the image search, did you validate it showed private images when someone other than you searched? Were the results using your images as you were doing the search so it included your images in your results?
I was sharing albums I was creating throughout the trip. I’ve uninstalled the app but I don’t believe there’s any way to prevent Google from scraping those albums and posting images. My titles incorporated Province/sites/locality names, as did my search terms when my images popped up in the search results.

But candidly, Google Photos is the same pos image software everyone else is putting out these days. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Sony and about 4 others I looked at. No way to sort by name, no way to compile a hierarchy of albums or nested albums. It’s really scary the garbage people are satisfied with these days unless they’re willing to build their own “site” on one of the photo specific sites. Their selling point is cloud backup. Unfortunately, having lost 4.7 gig of data on iCloud that Apple tried and failed to locate, cloud storage is rubbish to me. Yes I was backed up.
 

Ish

macrumors 68020
Nov 30, 2004
2,077
473
UK
Good thinking there!! My external hard drives are 2 Seagates and a G-drive.
I live in an area prone to earthquakes. So I guess I want to separate the drives into maybe 2 safes. Any recommendation on fireproof/earthquake safe?
Better to separate them into different locations than keep everything in your home.
 

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,288
Silicon Valley
Your pictures are not really yours, if you host them with Google! Yes, you still retain the intellectual rights to them, but they assert the right to use of them, in whatever way they see fit, and they can also share them freely with their business partners.
That's just CYA language though. There's no way they would ever intentionally use private photos that were being kept on their network for safekeeping. If they screwed up or a rogue or careless employee accidentally distributed a private photo in a derivative work, that language would give them an out.

I'm sure they'll be more than happy to use anything that the public can already see and use it like they own it, but no way would they want to touch your private storage.
[doublepost=1516955905][/doublepost]
My husband thinks its not safe to store them in the cloud as they can get stolen
I think some people are too paranoid about things like this, not because image thieves aren't out there, but hacking into your account to steal your photos for malicious purposes is a lot more effort than just swiping someone's kid photos off of Instagram that are being freely and openly distributed. As kenoh said, it's only if you're a celebrity of some sort where you need to be more paranoid about your privately stored photos being targeted for theft.
 

Alexander.Of.Oz

macrumors 68040
Oct 29, 2013
3,018
11,252
Adelaide, Australia
That's just CYA language though. There's no way they would ever intentionally use private photos that were being kept on their network for safekeeping. If they screwed up or a rogue or careless employee accidentally distributed a private photo in a derivative work, that language would give them an out.

I'm sure they'll be more than happy to use anything that the public can already see and use it like they own it, but no way would they want to touch your private storage.
Don't know about that. Did you read the conditions that are shared in message 6 above? That's pretty explicit in the fact that they claim the ability to use any image they want in whatever way they want. It doesn't say anything about public or private, so I would err on them having access to everything. In fact, it says "When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services." That covers all of their services in my eyes.
 

Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
695
151
That's just CYA language though. There's no way they would ever intentionally use private photos that were being kept on their network for safekeeping. If they screwed up or a rogue or careless employee accidentally distributed a private photo in a derivative work, that language would give them an out.
I believe you are quite wrong there. First, you responded to a scenario where the images were being "hosted". It's is very clear and there's plenty of examples out there where Google's scraping will toss those images into a pool available for search. Just search "Flickr". You think all those shots that show up in an image search are somehow or another owned by Google? Where did they get them? In my case, the images were also being "hosted" as I was compiling and sharing albums.

Where you might be right is images simply stored on Google's network. Google is not going to tell us if they scrap those files. We'll have to wait until the next chapter. That will take someone finding a stored image showing up a in an image search.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.