Google announced a major decision for its cloud-based photo storage and sharing service called Google Photos. The company decided to segregate it from its social network Google+ and release it as a separate app.
This new program is expected to have unlimited storage promising to cover all your photos and the best part of it – it will be completely free, unless you are a pro who wants to upload the most high resolution content. Photos will be processed through a lossless algorithm and stored on Google’s endless cloud storage space.
When it comes to marketing this not-so-new product the company is doing great, stating that these are not just pixels in certain order but “treasured memories”. However, it conveniently leaves out that anything you snap with your camera will be accessed by Google – e.g. documents, receipts, price tags, places you visit or things you want to buy. If you run out of storage on your phone, the Google Photos will automatically delete pictures already saved on the cloud service, freeing space for more input. Is this the future of advertising or a bold breach of privacy?
At the end of the day it is all about data – Google has developed advanced algorithms which can use natural language queries to sort different categories of pictures. But this is not where it ends – the software developed by the company is so complex that it can recognize landmarks even when your geolocation is turned off.
In 2004 Google introduced the Gmail service. It quickly attracted huge user base with its incomparably high storage capacity. Today the company is doing the same but with photos.
With growing privacy concerns worldwide, Google has once again proven that it is on top of events. The company has started a “privacy dashboard” seeking to limit its data-gathering actions. What makes people uneasy is that Google is stating its entirely for the user’s benefit. At the same time the core business of the company is its users’ private data and it will make anything to get continuous access to it. Another disappointing fact is that in 2012 Google unified the privacy policies of 60 of its products which is in direct contrast with what the company is trying to convey.
The truth is that since the service is free of charge the value has to come from somewhere else. All we can hope is that new users will be well informed before using a program like Google Photos. Whether it will be successful or not we just have to wait a bit.