It has emerged that the Google Photos Android app is likely backing up many users’ images without their knowledge. Even after Google Photos has been removed from a device, by default, pictures are still uploaded to Google’s cloud.
Although the issue is simple enough to resolve, it will still no doubt prove concerning for many former Google Photos users, who did not realise their images were still being uploaded.
Those who want to stop their photos from being uploaded need to select ‘Google Photo Backup’, from the main settings menu. From there, it is possible to change the syncing options in order to disable uploads.
Google have told David A. Arnott, the journalist who discovered the issue, that the service is working “as intended”.
Google Photos uploads are technically public, in that images are each given a 40-character URL that can be accessed without a password.
As The Verge points out, though, the 40-character length means that the URLs are essentially acting as a password, with 10^70 possible combinations. Aravind Krishnaswamy, a lead Google Photos engineer, has said that guessing a URL would be more difficult than working out a user’s password.
“There are enough combinations that it’s considered unguessable,” Krishnaswamy stated. “It’s much harder to guess than your password.”
[via The Verge]